Freedom of Information Act request denied

March 16, 2002|By LAURA MITCHELL, Staff Writer

Imperial County officials denied the Imperial Valley Press' request for public records related to the hiring of a county intergovernmental relations director.

The Press filed a Freedom of Information Act request with the county March 5 to have access to all documents related to the job.

County Supervisor Wally Leimgruber said he doesn't think the position is necessary and questioned the recruitment process.

The county gave the Press questions used by an interview panel for the first round of interviews. The county also turned over its standard interview guidelines.

The county denied the rest of the request Friday, its last day to respond. The letter from County Executive Officer Ann Capela stated "confidentiality in the public employment process" as one of the reasons for denying the request. The Press will continue to pursue the investigation and will contact legal counsel.


This week the county hired Bob Ham, executive director of the Coalition of Labor and Business in El Centro, for the position. The salary range is $78,000 to $99,548 a year, plus expenses that will include travel and staff support.

The position was approved by the board in early November. Leimgruber was the only supervisor to vote against creating the position.

The intergovernmental affairs director's duties are to analyze legislation's impact on the county and supervise assigned staff. The director will work under the county executive officer and coordinate communications between the executive officer, governmental agencies and county staff.

>> Staff Writer Laura Mitchell can be reached at 337-3452 or

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