Chico ER Letter: Deserving a ‘hit’ for public transparency



Letter: Deserving a ‘hit’ for public transparency

By LETTERS TO THE EDITOR | July 30, 2022 at 2:31 a.m. The editors characterized the City of Chico’s costly settlement of my Public Records Act lawsuit as a “miss.” It could also be viewed as a “hit” for bringing some long-needed transparency to the Chico Police Department. I do want to correct the record on the reimbursement amount of legal fees paid to my attorney, Aaron Field. The check the City wrote was actually for $43,637 (not $42,077). That does not include what the City paid its own multiple attorneys to defend against a lawsuit that would never have been brought had Chico PD’s leadership not shown such contempt for the public’s right to know. Chico’s beleaguered taxpayers have every reason to be furious about the cost of this needless lawyering. Had both sides not been so eager to settle, the payout could have been much higher. The City was eager to settle because it had no defense for the manner in which its Police Department first withheld records for many months, then either destroyed or somehow lost records, and then excessively blacked out records. What I sought – and what I finally obtained – were properly redacted PUBLIC records about the tragic police shootings of Gabe Sanchez, Desmond Phillips, Tyler Rushing and Stephen Vest. After studying the four killings in depth, I’m convinced all were unjustified. To find out how Butte County’s forever district attorney, Mike Ramsey, and his patsy detectives “investigate” their own, I encourage readers to read my May 11 stories about the Sanchez slaying and his killer at www.Chicosol.org. — Dave Waddell, Chico

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