San Diego County Approves Settlement After Open Records Lawsuit

The San Diego County District Attorney’s Office has reached a $100,000 settlement with the First Amendment Coalition after the department initially refused to turn over records of alleged sexual misconduct by employees. The money will cover legal fees.

The Coalition filed the lawsuit in July 2018, citing the state’s public records law. The San Diego DA’s Office wanted only to provide summaries of sexual harassment complaints. Unlike other offices that had also refused to hand over records, San Diego’s DA argued that its employees do not “occupy positions of such public trust and responsibility” — an argument that Coalition head David Snyder called “untenable under the California Public Records Act, and frankly dangerous.”

A San Diego Superior Court judge sided with the Coalition and ordered the DA’s office to provide the documents. Last week, the Board of Supervisors voted unanimously to settle the group’s claim for attorneys’ fees, agreeing to fork over $97,500.

The Times of San Diego has more on the settlement and what the DA’s sexual harassment records ultimately revealed. Read about that here