Los Angeles County Violates Public Records Act, Citing COVID-19

Submitted by NFOIC on Fri, 10/30/2020 - 1:03pm

The Los Angeles County Dept. of Public Health violated state law by failing to honor two separate public records requests filed by the Los Feliz Ledger during the COVID-19 pandemic, according to those well-versed in the law. 

Following a spate of coronavirus outbreaks at congregate living facilities, Ledger Publisher Allison B. Cohen filed a California Public Records Act (PRA) request May 7th for email communications on the topic from Los Angeles County Supervisors and the county’s Public Health Director Dr. Barbara Ferrer since January 2020. 

Cohen said she filed the request to investigate whether county officials had taken appropriate precautions at group home facilities in the early days of the pandemic. 

“The nursing home issue in New York state was very widely reported in the media. I’m sure as health experts, all of these folks were talking to each other across the country,” said Cohen. “There were lessons learned in New York, and it seems to me those lessons weren’t really applied in Los Angeles County, and that’s why I wondered what kind of conversations Dr. Ferrer was having regarding nursing homes.” (Read more)

“They’ve failed to do the minimum that they’re required to do under the Public Records Act, which is provide you at least a determination.”