Strange case of one, or two word redaction between City of Elk Grove, Assembly staffer; What's beneath the black line?



August 28, 2018 |

When making public record documents requests, those seeking information are often confronted with the prospect that it will not be wholly fulfilled. Such was the case of a recent request made of the City of Elk Grove.

In a recently fulfilled request, the city released volumes of pages of correspondence between the city and the office of California Assemblymember Jim Cooper there was information that was redacted. What made this redaction curious, was it was only one or possibly two words in a two or three-word email.

That email was on February 16, 2018, between Elk Grove deputy city manager Kara Reddig, and Leo Sianez, Cooper's legislative director. Unlike many email exchanges revealed in documents requests that are long back and forth exchanges, this exchange had the original email from Sianez and one response from Reddig.  


Click on image to enlarge. 

As can be seen above, the first email was sent from Siaenz. Curiously, the first one or two words of the email, which is no more than three words, were redacted.

Why? 

What could have been so crucial to redact one or two words? If it was a client-attorney privilege, what one or two words in the English language could be so powerful to reveal some sort of legal proceeding. Is it an embarrassing vulgarity or a more personal code word between the two parties?  

It is unlikely a phone number as both parties cell phone numbers are included in the email. Likewise, it is probably not a home address either based on the length and the remaining context. 

It could be an innocent explanation, but if it this was the case, why the need to redact these one or two words?

In a much broader sense, this is another illustration of how the City of Elk Grove council members and employees are playing fast and loose with official communications. As previously noted, Council Member Steve Detrick has communicated official business to city staff using an unofficial email address without sending a copy to his official email address. 

In this same set of requested documents, we also saw the former city manager Laura Gill sent official communication to Elk Grove Mayor Steve Ly to his personal email address, without including his official city address (see image below). We can only hope that interim city manager Jason Behrmann keeps his set of "fresh eyes" turned toward public trust and does not commit such a blatant violation of the public trust, much less the law.

Of course, until city attorney Jonathan Hobbs insist the city staff and city council members during a public meeting that this practice must stop, which based on his kowtowing to his city council bosses he will not do, we can expect further reckless disregard from the city council members and city staff.  

So again we ask, what are the city council and city staff hiding at Elk Grove City Hall?

Click on image to enlarge. 




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2 comments

D.J. Blutarsky said...

EGN needs to back off. That is not a redaction--it's an ink blob from the ditto machine! Haven't you ever worked in an office before?

Josie said...

Obviously some pet name or endearment. Gotta keep city business professional!

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