Long Beach, CA (PRWEB) January 24, 2004
In a lawsuit filed today, Wilson-Kleekamp claims city officials have unlawfully withheld hundreds of documents, including internal audits, income tax statements, and check registers that she has requested under the California Public Records Act during the past two years.
"This lawsuit questions the integrity of the city attorney, the city auditor and the city manager", said Wilson-Kleekamp, who has retained attorney Patrick Manshardt to pursue her records request. "Circumstances in this case, suggest why the publicÂs right to inspect public records should be strengthened," said Manshardt, of Los Angeles-based Southwestern Legal Foundation.
According to Wilson-Kleekamp, her interest began in 2002, when the city fired one its senior auditors, Earl Hobbs. Over the years, Hobbs had uncovered and exposed a number of questionable practices in city departments Â often at the displeasure of city managers and elected officials. When he was put on leave and eventually terminated, Wilson-KleekampÂs interest was piqued. "At first, I just wondered why Earl was put on leave, but then I heard that his house was ransacked by the police, they held a gun to his wifeÂs head, confiscated his computer and all his files, fired him, and then denied him his pension."
Wilson-Kleekamp believes her lawsuit will eventually exonerate Earl Hobbs. "If we can uncover what the City is trying to hide at the Queen Mary, then maybe weÂll find out why the City tried to destroy Earl HobbsÂ life."
On, January 5, the California State Lands Commission sent a terse letter to the office of the Long Beach City Attorney, to remind the city of its September 2001 and July 2003 requests for an accounting of it use of state Tidelands funds the city receives for its oversight of oil properties and production just offshore.
The Commission also requested details related to operation of the Queen Mary, which is docked in the Tidelands area and subject to State Lands Commission review. The city has not responded.
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