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Santa Maria-Bonita School District provides salary documents after Nevada org. sues

Posted at 6:47 PM, Feb 06, 2019
and last updated 2019-02-06 21:47:19-05

After a Nevada-based research organization filed a lawsuit alleging a violation of public records laws, the Santa Maria-Bonita School District is providing documents related to the salaries of its employees, a district spokeswoman said Wednesday.

Transparent California, which is operated by Nevada Research Institute, filed a complaint on Jan. 22 in the Superior Court of the State of California for Santa Barbara County.

The complaint alleged that the district was the only one in Santa Barbara County to withhold information regarding the specific wages and names of individuals employed by the district for the years 2016 and 2017.

“The people have the right of access to information concerning the conduct of the people’s business,” the lawsuit states. “The is a fundamental and necessary right of every person in this state.”

The district confirmed Wednesday that it had provided the plaintiff with the requested documents but declined to comment further.

“It looks like they are going to provide the data. Which kind of highlights the point made in our press release in that their refusal to do so was unlawful,” Transparent California Exec. Director Robert Fellner said in an email to KSBY. “It is unfortunate, however, that only those with the resources to file a lawsuit can receive the full transparency ostensibly promised to all Californians under the state’s open records law.”