SANTA BARBARA COUNTY GRAND JURY 1997-1998
PUBLIC DEFENDER DEPARTMENT
Released June 1, 1998
The 1997-98 Grand Jury received multiple written complaints regarding management of the Public Defender’s office and its effect on office morale and performance. The Grand Jury undertook an investigation to determine if the complaints were justified, if the county is being well-served under present management, and to determine what changes, if any, would improve the operation of the Department.
Indigent defendants who have been charged with a felony or misdemeanor have a Constitutional right to have counsel appointed at public expense. The mission of the Public Defender is to provide competent legal services to: indigent defendants in criminal cases, minors brought before the juvenile court, parties appearing before the court with regard to child dependency, those alleged to be in need of restriction due to mental illness or a developmental disability, and other cases of persons entitled to representation in the courts of Santa Barbara County. While obligated to comply with the law, the Public Defender and his staff are also obligated under the rules of our legal system to provide effective, vigorous and loyal advocacy for those clients whose cases are assigned to the Public Defender.
In recent years the legislature has made numerous alterations to criminal law and procedure. In 1994 the legislature enacted a "three strikes" law to mandate and increase sentences of repeat felony offenders. This action has put considerable pressure on every aspect of the criminal justice system: on district attorneys to bring charges, on judges to enforce, and particularly on public defenders to stretch limited resources in order to perform their Constitutional responsibilities.
As laws have changed, the efforts required of the office of the Public Defender have also changed. These changes have necessitated the department to pursue alternatives to incarceration and to devote disproportionately more resources to defending "strike" cases.
Given the importance and the nature of the complaints received, the Grand Jury undertook an in-depth investigation in order to more fully understand the operation of the department, its work and the demands placed upon it. The Public Defender Department has 63 employees and in fiscal year 1996-97 opened 21,468 cases.
To arrive at its findings the Grand Jury conducted more than 30 interviews with the following:
- Present and former deputy public defenders (attorneys) and Assistant Public Defenders
- Present and former investigators and support staff, including office managers
- Superior and Municipal Court judges
- Personnel of other departments, including County Counsel and District Attorney
- The Public Defender and management staff
No subpoenas were issued to compel witnesses to appear. All witnesses appeared voluntarily to testify before the Grand Jury. The Grand Jury visited the Public Defender offices in Santa Barbara, Santa Maria and Lompoc, and has reviewed the Department’s Policy and Procedures manual. In addition, we reviewed recent case law and other relevant county documents regarding Employee Performance Reports, administrative leave, job classification, promotion and grievance procedure.
Overview of the Public Defender Department
The Legislature and local Board of Supervisors have defined the duties which the Public Defender is to perform. Some duties are mandated, others are permissive. Subject to specific exceptions, all duties require that clients be indigent. Additional Public Defender duties are set forth in California Government Code Sections 27706 et seq.
By law clients are entitled to a vigorous and competent defense. Competing needs, however, greatly exceed both staff time and money available. "Strike" cases and felonies require extensive expenditure of time by attorneys, investigators and support staff. Under the circumstances, giving clients the best representation possible regularly requires attorneys to work after hours and weekends.
Grants obtained by the District Attorney have permitted that department to hire 7 or 8 new attorneys and/or secretaries. These employees generate additional work for the Public Defender, but that department has not received funding to cover the additional load. State Penal Code provides for funds for investigation and expert witnesses, but in the past decade the state budget has failed to contribute to the cost of local indigent defense. According to the Public Defender’s 1996-97 annual report to the Board of Supervisors, the state budget has failed over the past four years to fund the cost of death penalty case preparation, as called for by the Penal Code.
At arraignment the judge assigns clients to the Public Defender’s office. The Public Defender then assigns cases to attorneys, depending on the category of case: misdemeanors, felonies, juvenile, mental health/juvenile dependency, and appeals. After a period of time, attorneys assigned to one type of caseload assignment are rotated into another.
- The county has issued job descriptions for Public Defender, Assistant Public Defender, Deputy Public Defender I-IV, and Deputy Public Defender Senior. The descriptions include distinguishing characteristics and examples of duties for each of the classifications. (Exhibit 1)
- Staff attorneys expressed frustration that the present salary step increases and job classification process was arbitrarily implemented and was professionally insulting. This process is not implemented in a clear, consistent manner, and in accordance with Civil Service Rules. See Rule 303—Class Specifications; Rule 402—Establishing Salary Rates; Rule 409—Increases Within the Salary Range; Rule 418—Salary on Temporary Assignment Out of Class; Rule 609—Flexible Staffing.
- The Public Defender is not in compliance with the Memorandum of Understanding of July 14, 1989 between the county and the Santa Barbara County Government Attorneys Association regarding parity of salary and job classification among the departments of the County Counsel, Public Defender and District Attorney. For example, Deputy Public Defenders I and II are not promoted at the same rate and for the same level of responsibility as attorneys in the District Attorney’s office or the County Counsel’s office.
Caseload Assignments and Attorney Rotation
- Assignments by the Public Defender have resulted in staff attorneys being required to represent clients contrary to their job descriptions. (Exhibit 1—distinguishing characteristics/job description of Deputy Public Defender I-IV)
- The Public Defender does not assign cases to attorneys in accordance with their experience and job classification. Deputy Public Defenders I-III do not receive additional compensation when they are assigned cases above their designated classification characteristics, as required by Civil Service rule 418—Salary for Temporary Assignment out of Class.
- The manner in which the Public Defender assigns misdemeanor cases to staff attorneys creates undue calendar conflicts and stressful pressure on the attorneys by requiring them to appear in multiple courtrooms at the same time, often in different buildings.
- The Public Defender arbitrarily rotates staff attorney assignments. The Public Defender gives staff attorneys neither notice nor the opportunity to discuss rotation. This increases stress levels for staff attorneys by requiring them to take on new levels of assignment without adequate preparation and/or training.
- The State Bar and Public Defender office policy both require attorneys to maintain their skills and to attend appropriate training programs. The Public Defender has
introduced a mentoring program. However, no supporting plan or formal on-the-
job training has been set up for any aspect of criminal defense practice.
- The Public Defender mandates semi-weekly lunch-hour meetings—one for attorneys with cases in Municipal Court and another for those in Superior Court. Staff attorneys do not consider these meetings productive in terms of legal practice. There is no set agenda so meetings devolve into rehashing war stories and unnecessary criticism by the Public Defender.
- Deputy Public Defenders receive a $250 per year reimbursement allowance for required training seminars and workshops, and $250 per year for training materials. However, there is no reimbursement for associated travel and hotel expenses for such training. Deputy District Attorneys who must meet similar training requirements do receive travel and hotel reimbursement.
- Deputy Public Defenders in Santa Barbara County often work 50 to 70 hours per week. This exposes them to the risk of malpractice. Recent case law (Barner v. Leeds, 98 Daily Journal D.A.R. 3475) held that deputy public defenders who are sued for malpractice do not have discretionary immunity under Government Code, and that deputy public defenders are subject to malpractice even though they are "…long-suffering but dedicated lawyers who are overworked, underpaid and unappreciated."
- When a deputy public defender is appointed to represent a defendant accused of a crime, he/she becomes the attorney for said defendant for all purposes of the case and to the same extent as if he/she were retained and employed by the defendant. Resources (number of attorneys and investigators) available for competent defense and investigation are inadequate, given the caseload handled by the office of the Public Defender and the ethical issue of attorney competency.
- The Public Defender has a reputation as an expert in the area of legal and ethical issues in criminal law. Yet in the past decade he has rarely tried a case. This lack of recent trial experience insulates him from the pressures and demands routinely placed upon staff attorneys. As a result, the Public Defender has limited understanding of the challenges that staff attorneys face.
- County policy provides for administrative leave in recognition that county attorneys are routinely required to work beyond the normal work day (8-5) and on weekends to complete tasks assigned to them. County Personnel Resolution for Management Employees (No. 97-462) authorizes county attorneys administrative leave of up to 14 days per calendar year so that attorneys can attend to personal business or take some time off without requiring use of annual vacation leave. The District Attorney allows 5 days; County Counsel authorizes up to 12 days per year; the Public Defender authorizes only 1 day (8 hours) per year. The Public Defender only grants additional leave pursuant to "extraordinary effort." While authorization of administrative leave
is discretionary with department heads, the policy adopted by the Public Defender is unreasonable and not consistent with administrative leave granted to attorneys in other county departments.
Performance Review—Public Defender
- The Public Defender is an at-will department head and serves at the pleasure of the Board of Supervisors and County Administrator. He has served in this capacity for more than 23 years.
- The Public Defender’s specified duties include personally appearing in court as defense attorney of major and other cases or at arraignments to obtain first hand knowledge of cases going to court. (Exhibit 1)
- The Public Defender selectively performs specified duties of department head. He seldom appears in court in compliance with Example of Duties. (Exhibit 1)
- County Ordinance No. 4217, relating to the County Administrator, states in part at section 2-75(h):
The County Administrator shall annually evaluate the performance of board appointed department heads, including goals and objectives, and submit such evaluations to the Board of Supervisors for use in the board’s review of the department head’s performance.
- Santa Barbara County Executive Management Performance Evaluation states in part that the form will be used to evaluate all Board and County Administrator appointed department heads and all assistant department heads. Board and County Administrator appointed department heads will be evaluated by the County Administrator. Each executive employee shall be evaluated
- on the anniversary of their appointment
- whenever a special evaluation is deemed to be warranted by their appointing authority. (Exhibit 2)
- The Public Defender is an appointed department head included in the class required to receive the foregoing evaluations.
- The County Administrator has not evaluated the Public Defender’s performance annually pursuant to Ordinance 4217 and the Santa Barbara County Executive Management Performance Evaluation.
- Public Defender’s performance has been evaluated infrequently over a period of more than 20 years, the most recent being in April 1995. The frequency of these evaluations does not comply with designated procedures.
Performance Reviews—Staff Attorneys
- Over the last 5 years the Public Defender has completed less than half of the annual Employee Performance Reports (EPR) required by Civil Service Rule 1503, and also called for in the office Policy and Procedures manual. EPRs have not been given annually or consistently to all employees.
- Attorneys stated that EPRs are not objective and do not reflect performance. Employee requests for timely evaluations and/or promotions are subject to adverse consequences and retaliation. There is no policy/procedure to protect department employees from reprisal action. This exposes the county to potential liability of employment related lawsuits.
- Micro-management by the Public Defender adversely impacts the efficiency and productivity of support staff personnel.
- The Public Defender assigns secretaries to work for 3 or 4 attorneys in a rotation process similar to that for attorneys. There is no explanation or schedule for any rotation or input from secretaries regarding how to evenly distribute the load.
- The Santa Barbara office has no documented procedure for secretaries to be cross-trained in the different requirements of juvenile, misdemeanor, felony, mental health or appeals components of defense practice. A crisis mode in which staff is stressed, overworked and frustrated in terms of job satisfaction contributes to staff turnover.
- Without opportunity for training within the office, secretaries attend outside training on their own time and at their expense. Without such training a secretary’s promotion is delayed due to not being trained for multiple tasks. This negatively impacts both the well-being of employees and office efficiency.
- Office manager/secretarial supervisors do not manage their own office budgets. A simple order for supplies must pass through an account clerk and business manager for approval.
- In the Santa Barbara office the position of office manager/supervisor is shared between two alternating half-time employees. This results in a lack of day to day continuity and direction for support staff. At the same time, secretaries are not allowed to resolve issues among themselves. Office managers are not empowered to adopt suggestions from support staff or implement changes that would improve efficiency.
- In the Santa Barbara office secretaries are not permitted to have meetings during working hours to prioritize assigned tasks and how best to help each other.
- Although the Santa Barbara office secretaries are authorized one noon-hour meeting per quarter, this meeting is allowed only if it is directed by a supervisor, witnessed by the business manager (who reports back to the Public Defender), and follows a specific agenda. Because these restrictions discourage such meetings, teamwork is diminished, staff is over-stressed and prevented from problem-solving in a cooperative manner.
- Secretarial supervisors and/or the Public Defender perform secretary EPRs without input from the staff attorneys from whom they receive work assignments. This results in reviews that are not objective or representative of secretarial performance.
- Despite the heavy volume of incoming telephone calls which accompany all the cases assigned to the department, the Public Defender did not fill a full-time telephone and receptionist position in the Santa Barbara office for more than seven months. As a result, the legal secretary staff had to perform receptionist duties with no corresponding reduction in their regular work duties.
- When secretarial staff requested a meeting to discuss work overload the Public Defender responded by unilaterally inserting a new page in the office manual stating that any non-job related activity over 6 minutes duration during normal work hours (8-5) requires completion of a formal Request for Time Off. The time is then deducted from the employee’s vacation time. This is degrading to a hardworking dedicated staff. (Exhibit 3)
- The Data Entry position in the Public Defender’s office involves performing or acting as legal secretary backup. This function is not included in the job description for data entry clerk.
- There is no defined departmental policy for investigators to attend training seminars.
- The Assistant Public Defender in Santa Maria does not micro-manage secretarial staff. Santa Maria support staff functions in an atmosphere of teamwork and efficiency. Morale is high, office turnover low, and secretaries are cross-trained in multiple aspects of legal secretarial assignments, such as juvenile, misdemeanor and felony caseloads.
- The Public Defender has hired two Social Service Workers in the Santa Barbara and Santa Maria offices in an effort to provide needed sentencing alternatives on behalf of clients with substance abuse or mental health problems.
- Management issues in the Santa Maria and Lompoc offices are different from those in the Santa Barbara office. However, an issue common among secretarial staff is, "how do you solve departmental problems in an atmosphere of the Public Defender’s hostility to employee initiatives?"
- Support staff is dedicated to their work. They do not want to leave the department. The Public Defender does not provide effective leadership or understanding of areas where problems exist. Stress builds to a breaking point, staff burns out, or leaves.
- The Wang Laboratories computer system purchased by the Public Defender in 1991 is no longer manufactured. It is antiquated and outdated and not compatible with the Windows-based standard used countywide. Advantages at the time of purchase have since vanished. The system experiences constant processing glitches and need of repair.
- The county Data Services Department cannot provide technical support for Wang. One half-time position in the Public Defender Department, as well as much of the office business manager’s time, is devoted to computer maintenance. The system is frequently inoperable, creating additional problems for attorneys and staff.
- Attorneys and support staff uniformly complain of Wang inefficiency and awkward word processing capability, referring to the system as a "dinosaur." (Exhibit 4)
- The Public Defender has stated that subject to budget restraints, he is implementing replacement of the existing word processing and case management system with one that is compatible with the county standard. However, he has given department personnel no time frame for implementation.
- There is one interpreter in the Santa Maria office. The interpreter is sometimes needed in more than one courtroom at the same time, and cannot be readily contacted.
- The Public Defender offices in Santa Barbara, Santa Maria and Lompoc each have only one FAX machine. When there are lengthy incoming messages, staff cannot send important outgoing messages in a timely fashion.
Management and Morale
- The Public Defender does not appear to respect support staff. He is unsympathetic to their concerns and is not open to staff suggestions. The Public Defender subjects staff to humiliation, intimidation and/or verbal abuse if he considers staff suggestions to infringe on his "management prerogative."
- There is not enough staff to cover absences from sickness, vacation leave, or employee turnover. This results in a constant "crisis mode."
- The Public Defender inefficiently utilizes available volunteers and legal interns to assist support staff.
- Secretarial personnel decisions in the Santa Barbara office are made by the Public Defender, without necessarily consulting supervisors. Therefore, the Santa Barbara office secretarial supervisors have responsibility without authority.
- The Public Defender creates a hostile work environment. Santa Barbara staff complains that the Public Defender constantly stands over them, interrupts work, criticizes work in process, patrols the hallways with a police attitude, rummages through their trashcans, and intimidates staff with menacing stares.
- Staff describe the Santa Barbara office atmosphere as one of "walking on eggshells." They are afraid to complain about problems for fear of becoming a target of retaliation by the Public Defender.
- The Public Defender makes arbitrary additions and modifications to the departmental Policies and Procedures Manual (manual). He uses it as a management "sword" rather than a "shield" protective of everyone. Manual contains no formal grievance procedure for complaints against management, or means for implementing suggestions or changes, or redressing perceived imbalances. Employees state that the Public Defender uses the manual as a document of management control, rather than one of understanding between employer and employee. The Public Defender does not enforce rules uniformly. To question the Public Defender or what he has inserted into the manual is to invite verbal abuse and retaliation.
- Decisions are made unilaterally and subjectively by the Public Defender. Therefore, while morale is excellent with regard to purpose, it is simultaneously bad with regard to job satisfaction. There is no participatory setting for office decisions, or policy allowing for staff to voice concerns.
- When staff offers input contrary to the Public Defender’s input, staff believes the Public Defender acts in a retaliatory manner, using his power to "reassign and drown employees with work, write negative evaluations, and deny vacation time or other employee requests."
- Both attorneys and support staff stated that they communicate directly with the Public Defender as little as possible, since he is verbally abusive to both attorneys and clients. They stated he is distrustful, dwells on negative information as opposed to positive input, and is subject to snap judgements and rude remarks without seeking all the facts.
- Public Defender is perceived by employees to be abrasive, cold, moody and confrontational. Staff avoids the Public Defender out of fear of the Public Defender’s outbreaks of rage and verbal abuse. Public Defender’s demeanor creates and exacerbates a hostile work environment.
- The body language, rage and abuse to which department personnel are subjected is not reflected in the Public Defender’s written communications, including office e-mail memoranda.
- The perception among both attorneys and support staff is that the Public Defender considers them replaceable. Employees do not feel safe to complain about management due to fear of becoming a "target" of verbal and mental abuse and/or workplace retaliation by the Public Defender.
- Despite micro-managing the department the Public Defender does not accept responsibility for any mismanagement. Responsibility for solving problems related to computer maintenance, lack of consistent on-line access to Law Desk and Shepard’s, inadequate phone service, slowness in hiring temporary help, etc., is shifted to other departments.
- The Public Defender blames budget constraints and the threat of privatization as an excuse for not addressing the needs of the department.
- The Santa Barbara and Lompoc office receptionists have no "panic button" or security device with which to summon help in case of danger from disgruntled clients in the receptionist area.
- The Public Defender office space on the second and third floors of the Santa Barbara County Courthouse is cramped, poorly lighted and poorly ventilated. Investigators perform their work in small cubicles which do not provide clients privacy or confidentiality.
- There is considerable unused General Services Department office space immediately below the office of the Public Defender.
- The Public Defender should comply with Civil Service Rules regarding salaries and promotions, and with the July 14, 1989 Memorandum of Understanding between the county and the Santa Barbara County Government Attorneys Association.
[Findings 1, 2 and 3]
- The Public Defender should comply with Civil Service Rules regarding work assignments. [Findings 4 and 5]
- The Public Defender should assign cases to staff attorneys in a manner which reduces calendar conflicts in Municipal Court. [Finding 6]
- The Public Defender should accept input from attorneys prior to rotation of case assignments. Attorneys should receive adequate advance notice allowing them time to prepare for a new level of assignment, including attendance at relevant professional conferences and seminars. [Finding 7]
- The Public Defender should adopt a formal on-the-job training procedure for new Deputy Public Defenders I and II. The role and time requirements expected of attorney mentors should be spelled out in order to make the mentor program meaningful. [Finding 8]
- Mandatory weekly meetings for attorneys should have a written agenda which includes topics for discussion submitted by staff attorneys. [Finding 9]
- The Public Defender should adjust the annual reimbursement allowance staff attorneys receive for training and training materials to also reimburse associated travel and accommodation expenses. [Finding 10]
- The Board of Supervisors should increase the Public Defender Department budget to permit hiring more attorneys and investigators. This would reduce the present strain on human resources in the department and would reduce the county’s potential liability to malpractice lawsuits brought against the county and/or individual deputy public defenders by clients claiming that they received incompetent representation. [Findings 11, 12 and 62]
- The Public Defender should try cases in accordance with the examples of his duties, to remain current with trial practice, and to more fully understand what deputy public defenders deal with daily. [Findings 13,16 and 17]
- The Public Defender’s subjective perception of "extraordinary effort" should not limit discretionary administrative leave granted to staff attorneys to one (1) day per calendar year. Staff attorneys should be able to request and receive reasonable administrative leave on the same basis as county attorneys in other departments. [Finding 14]
- The County Administrator and the Board of Supervisors should evaluate the Public Defender’s performance as required by County Ordinance 4217 and set forth in the Santa Barbara Executive Management Performance Evaluation form. [Findings 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22]
- The County Administrator should conduct a management audit of the Public Defender Department to verify this Grand Jury’s findings relating to the management of the department and the Public Defender’s conduct in dealing with department personnel. If as a result of this audit it is ascertained that the Public Defender’s actions constitute willful misconduct, the County Administrator should take appropriate action. [Findings 24, 48, 52, 53, 54, 56, 57, 58, 59, 60, 61]
- The Public Defender should complete in an objective and timely manner annual Employee Performance Reports as required by Civil Service Rule 1503.
[Finding 23 and 24]
- The Public Defender, in cooperation with his office managers, should establish and implement an organization chart that clearly defines lines of authority and avoids micro-management by the Public Defender. [Findings 25, 26, 29, 30, 31, 32, 41, 51]
- The Public Defender should allow both Santa Barbara and Santa Maria office managers to establish procedures to cross-train legal secretaries in the different aspects of criminal defense practice. [Findings 27, 28 and 38]
- The position of office manager should be one full-time position filled by one person. [Finding 30]
- The Public Defender should allow secretaries to hold regular meetings to address work loads and assigned tasks without participation of the business manager. [Findings 31, 32 and 40]
- The Public Defender should include input from attorneys for whom secretaries work when he completes secretary Employee Performance Reports. [Finding 33]
- The Public Defender should fill support staff position vacancies as soon as possible, using temporary help if necessary. [Finding 34 and 49]
- Job description and salary of Data Entry position should accurately reflect duties performed. [Finding 36]
- The Public Defender should establish policy and reimbursement schedule for investigators to attend relevant training seminars. [Finding 37]
- The Public Defender should provide staff with a written schedule of how and when the office word processing and case management system will be brought into compliance with county standard Microsoft Windows systems.
[Findings 42, 43, 44, 45]
- The Public Defender should request input from staff to determine the need for additional FAX machines, and provide more machines as needed. [Finding 47]
- The interpreter in the Santa Maria Public Defender’s office should be supplied with a pager during courtroom appearances. [Finding 46]
- The Public Defender should more fully utilize legal interns and volunteers to assist office staff. [Finding 50]
- The Public Defender should be required to attend anger management classes as well as human resource management classes in order to better appreciate and respect his staff and establish a more cooperative work environment.
[Findings 48, 53, 54, 55, 57]
- The Public Defender should uniformly implement rules that have been cooperatively established with input from staff. [Finding 54 and 35]
- The Public Defender should permanently include in the department’s Policies and Procedures Manual procedures for addressing reprisal actions in the office in conformity with the intent of Civil Service Rule 1325—Prohibition Against Reprisal Action. [Finding 54]
- The Public Defender should install a "panic button" for the receptionists in the Santa Barbara and Lompoc offices in case of emergency. [Finding 63]
- The Public Defender should confer with the County Administrator and head of General Services regarding the consolidation of General Services Department office space and the creation of additional Public Defender office space.
[Findings 64 and 65]
- The 1998-99 Grand Jury should conduct a follow-up study of the Public Defender Department to monitor the implementation of Grand Jury recommendations.
Board of Supervisors: Findings 1-5; 11, 12; 15-22; 48, 53, 54, 55, 57, 62, 64, 65
Recommendations 1, 2, 8, 11, 26, 28, 30
County Administrator: Findings 1-5; 24, 36, 48, 54-61; 64, 65
Recommendations 1, 2, 11, 12, 20, 26, 28, 30
Public Defender: Findings 1-10; 13-19; 21-25; 27, 41, 46, 47, 49-51; 63-65
Recommendations 1-9; 10, 13, 14-19; 21-25; 27, 29, 30
General Services Dept: Finding 65 and Recommendation 30
Grand Jury: Recommendation 31
ALL EXHIBITS ARE IN PUBLISHED FINAL REPORT
ALL AFFECTED AGENCIES PLEASE NOTE:
Section 933.05, Penal Code is summarized as follows:
A – Findings [Section 933.05 (a)]
For each finding in the Grand Jury report, the responding party must give one of following two responses:
1) That you agree with the finding.
2) That you disagree wholly or partially with the finding, in which case the response shall specify the portion of the finding that is disputed and shall include an explanation of the reasons for the disagreement.
B - Recommendations [Section 933.05 (b)]
For each recommendation in the Grand Jury report, the responding party must state that one of the following four actions has been taken:
1) The recommendation has been implemented, with a summary of the implemented action.
2) The recommendation has not yet been implemented, but will be implemented in the future, with a timeframe for implementation
3) The recommendation requires further analysis. If a person or entity reports in this manner, the law requires a detailed explanation of the analysis or study and timeframe not to exceed six (6) months. In this event, the analysis or study must be submitted to the officer, director or governing body of the agency being investigated.
4) The recommendation will not be implemented because it is not warranted or is not reasonable, with an explanation therefor.
C. Budgetary and Personnel Matters [Section 933.05 (c)]
If a finding or recommendation of the Grand Jury addresses budgetary or personnel matters of a county department headed by an elected officer, both the department head and the board of supervisors shall respond if requested by the Grand Jury, but the response of the board of supervisors shall address only those budgetary or personnel matters over which it has some decision making authority. The response of the elected department head shall address all aspects of the findings or recommendations affecting his or her department.
Advance release of Report is prohibited prior to public release.
Two working days prior to release of the Final Report, the Grand Jury will provide a copy of the report to all affected agencies or persons. No officer, agency, department or governing body of a public agency shall disclose the contents of the report prior to its public release.
1 - Public Agency. The governing body of any public agency must respond within ninety (90) days.
2 - Elective Officer or Agency Head. All elected officers or heads of agencies and departments are required to respond within sixty (60) days.
3 - In any city and county, the mayor shall also comment on the findings and recommendations.
The written response is to go to the Presiding Judge of the Superior Court. In addition the written response and a 3 1/2 inch computer disc with the response (preferably done in Word) is to be forwarded to the Grand Jury.