Community News

City of San Clemente to Sue TCA for Violations of California Public Records Act

by: Erik Sund
Posted: June 20, 2018

SAN CLEMENTE...The City of San Clemente filed a lawsuit today in Orange County Superior Court alleging the Transportation Corridors Agencies (TCA) is failing to comply with the California Public Records Act, a violation of California law. The City is seeking all consulting agreements, including all agreements with lobbyists and public affairs consultants for the TCA. The Public Records Act request also requested all expense reimbursements, stipends and other payments to the TCA CEO Michael Kraman and TCA Board members. The City contends these documents will clearly show that the TCA has spent more money on lobbyists over the past twenty years than it has spent on building new toll roads during this same period of time.

The City of San Clemente filed its initial Public Records Act request seeking these documents on March 13, 2018. Despite communications from the TCA in April that they would provide the document, TCA has failed to provide any documents or respond to any further communications. After the City sent one final request on June 5, 2018 requesting these public documents, TCA once again failed to respond or provide any documents. The City of San Clemente is seeking a writ of mandate from the court, to compel TCA to turn over the public documents detailing the millions it has spent on lobbying and public relation efforts. The City of San Clemente will also be entitled to recover all attorneys' fees for such action.

It is estimated that TCA has spent over $20,000,000 in lobbying fees to firms such as Curt Pringle & Associates, run by the former Chairman of the California High Speed Rail Authority, and Venture Strategic, headed by the former campaign consultant for Supervisor Lisa Bartlett. TCA has also spent millions in Sacramento in attempts to stave off its consolidation with the OCTA.

"The TCA continues to refuse to follow the law and simply provide their multi-million dollar lobbyist and consultants contracts over to the public," said Mayor Tim Brown of San Clemente. "The amount of money the TCA has spent on lobbyists to keep their organization afloat despite not having built anything in over 20 years, and the taxpayers have the right to know."

The hearing on the City's Public Records Act lawsuit against the TCA is expected to be held on expedited basis.

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