Ralph M. Brown Act

News & Analysis as of

The Ethics Advisor: Watch Out For Technology! The Ethical Use of Technology in Your Role as Public Official

Second in a series by BB&K Partner Ruben Duran for the Southern California Latino Policy Center Newsletter* ¡Aguas con el Tech! While the use of technology by elected officials in California may not exactly be...more

How to Avoid Brown Act Violations When Discussing Litigation Issues

A nearly $400,000 severance deal struck between Pasadena Community College and its former president was nullified by a judge after determining that the deal was improperly discussed and finalized in closed session. A Los...more

The Ethics Advisor: Don’t be Such a Crybaby!

“No estés chillando, C@#$0n.” Loosely translated, and with the recipient of that message “BLEEP-ed” to make it G-rated, the quote above means “Don’t be such a crybaby!” Or, as George Lopez might ask: “Why you...more

Pasadena Community College Ex-President’s $400,000 Severance Package Nullified Due to Brown Act Violations

A nearly $400,000 severance deal struck between Pasadena Community College and its former president was nullified by a judge after determining that the deal was improperly discussed and finalized in closed session. A Los...more

Two California School Districts Do the Right Thing and Avoid Brown Act Violations by Rescheduling Meetings

Two Santa Ynez Valley school districts recently postponed their monthly board meetings after it was discovered that both districts failed to post their meeting agendas online 72 hours in advance, as required by the Brown Act....more

Local Agencies Face Suits Alleging Brown Act Violations for Failing to Release Closed Session Vote Details

Closed Session Decision and Vote Details Must be Publicly Reported Within 24 Hours - Pasadena City College is facing criticism — and a lawsuit — for its preceived lack of transparency regarding its Board of Trustees’...more

State Constitution Now Requires Local Agencies to Follow Brown and Public Records Acts - Whether or Not State Reimburses...

Voters Pass Proposition 42 and Create a Constitutional Amendment - California voters just approved Proposition 42, a state constitutional amendment to eliminate the requirement that the state reimburse costs incurred...more

And the Survey Said… Let There be Sunshine!

The people of California are clamoring for more – more sunshine and transparency. It is the mantra being heard across the state. Next month, Californians will vote on Proposition 42 and whether to amend the California...more

Weekly Recap Ethics News and Trends – February 24, 2014

Public servants with the utmost integrity also need to be aware of what is happening ethically around the state. In today’s climate, every public agency’s image is impacted by the missteps or misconduct of others. Below...more

Best Practices For Compliance With SB 751 - Practical Tips for Publicly Reporting on Legislative Body Actions Taken and Votes or...

California Senate Bill 751, which went into effect January 1, requires the legislative body of a local agency to publicly report any action taken and the vote or abstention on that action of each member present. This new law...more

New Tools to Comply with the Brown Act and Increase Transparency

Meeting management is big business for governments at every level, and the recent enactment of SB 751 has many public agencies reviewing the policies and tools they use to manage their public meetings. SB 751 requires...more

Upcoming Changes to California’s Open Meeting Laws

Three bills recently signed by the governor will bring changes to the Brown Act beginning January 1, 2014. The Brown Act governs the conduct of public agency meetings and imposes a variety of requirements to maintain openness...more

New Law Requires Public Report on Action and Vote of Each Member in Open Sessions - Changes to Brown Act Effective January 1, 2014

California Senate Bill 751, recently signed into law, will require all legislative bodies to publicly report any action taken in any meeting, and the vote or abstention on that action of each member present. The bill is...more

Ethics Laws and the Importance of Transparency for Public Officials [Video]

Matthew "Mal" Richardson, who serves as city attorney of Stanton and assistant city attorney of Lake Forest, talks about the Brown Act, ethics training for public officials and other important laws and regulations that ensure...more

Constitutional Amendment Proposes to Exempt Public Records Act and Brown Act Mandates from Reimbursement

Amendment Subject to a Vote of the People in June 2014 - In accordance with the procedures for amendment of the California Constitution, two-thirds of each house of the State Legislature has approved Senate...more

CEQA Determination Is Item of Business That Must Be Agendized Under Brown Act, Fifth District Holds

In a partially-published opinion, the Fifth District Court of Appeal held that the Merced County Planning Commission’s failure to mention in its posted agenda that it was considering adoption of a mitigated negative...more

Local Legislative Bodies Must Expressly Agendize CEQA Documents - County Planning Commission Failed to Include Project-Related...

Overview: The California Court of Appeal recently held that the state’s open meeting law (the Brown Act) requires that, if a document under the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) must be approved by a local...more

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