Public Records Should Not Be Held Behind a Stone Wall

by lewwaters

I am always disheartened to see elected officials I have supported and voted for not fully living up to their oaths of office or complying with the written laws they swore to uphold. It matters not if they are a Democrat, Republican or non-Partisan, we elect them and expect them to comply with all laws, major and minor and conduct themselves appropriately.

Sheriff Gary Lucas of the Clark County Sheriff’s Office is such a person I have supported and voted for each time he ran. But it does disturb me to see that he is now dragging his feet for weeks on complying with a public records request, even after being told by the State Attorney General’s office that he must.

The request was initially made by Marcus Griffith of the Vancouver Voice and addressed by him HERE, HERE, HERE, HERE and now HERE where Griffith makes a valid point in how such stone walling erodes the public’s trust in the official.

The question seems centered around standards established by the Commission on the Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies, Inc. (CALEA) and signed to by Sheriff Lucas that sets a policy of limiting comments at “public information session” to “10 minutes and must address the agency’s ability to comply with CALEA’s standard.”

10 minutes is very generous and apparently not the problem. What is the problem seems to be “complying with CALEA’s standard” as we also see Griffith has been told by Sgt. Dennis Pritchard of the Sheriff’s Office, “[CALEA] has instructed the Sheriff’s Office not to provide copies of the standards to the public.”

How is the public supposed to ensure compliance to a standard they are prohibited from knowing of?

Numerous requests have been denied and questions either ignored or answered in vague manner.

Griffith also informs us now that it was recently admitted to that Lucas “worked as a paid assessor on four assessments in the past for CALEA,” which carries with it at the least an appearance of a potential conflict of interest.

Discussing this with Griffith over the phone recently, He informed me that after he contacted the State Attorneys General office for clarification on the denial of a public records request, the Sheriff’s Office was informed that they must indeed comply and that he was contacted to expect the requested records soon.

He has now been waiting nearly a month.

Refer to the links above to the Vancouver Voice for more in depth background in this.

To me, trust is a precious thing and easily lost, although difficult to earn. Sheriff Lucas has earned my trust as well as the other 84,071 who voted for him in the 2010 election. (Roughly 60% of the vote)

We’ve placed our confidence in him, but that confidence could easily be lost by this.

Sheriff Lucas, I urge you to comply with the public records request quickly.

We sure wouldn’t want such a simple public records request to end up being blown out of proportion as was Barack Obama’s birth certificate.

2 Comments to “Public Records Should Not Be Held Behind a Stone Wall”

  1. His time is up.

    His failure to live up to his oath, his obvious conflict of interest and his knowing violation of the public disclosure laws of this state means he should retire, and do it now.

    Add that to his complete failure to support other GOP candidates and you’ve really got no reason for him to have the job, because longevity just ain’t good enough.

  2. I kind of thought we were done with corruption & the keystone kops when Frank Kanekoa and his bozos left the sheriff’s department. It would be nice to actually have some professionals in that office for once instead of a bunch of dipsticks.

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