In today’s print edition, I wrote about how the City Attorney’s Office is refusing to release records related to complaints filed under the city’s ordinance prohibiting discrimination based on sexual orientation. This stance is problematic because not one of the 22 complaints filed under the ordinance since 2002 was prosecuted by the city. Who knows, maybe this is because they were all bogus. But ultimately there is no way of knowing that without seeing the complaints themselves.
Anyhow, it would appear as though today, the City Attorney’s Office is digging in its heels. I just received an e-mail saying that in the future any information whatsoever about the complaints, including things like the statistics that were published in today’s Voice, must be formally requested in writing. Previously the city was willing to provide stats related to how many complaints were filed without a a written request.
So what’s going on here? Well, it could be that City Attorney’s Office is pissed, and in retaliation for my story they’ve decided to do whatever they can to make my life more difficult. But I doubt that. A more likely explanation is that the City Attorney’s Office fears other news agencies will soon request the numbers, which frankly don’t look very good on their surface.
In six years, there have been 22 complaints, zero prosecutions and just one “mediated result.” If the City Attorney’s Office is enforcing the ordinance properly, you’d think they would be anxious to release the files themselves so everyone could see that the complaints lacked merit. But that’s obviously not the case. Stay tuned.
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