Well thanks to City Hearing Examiner Brian McGinn now we know what he thinks it is. I should note that having the City Hearing Examiner review PRR appeals instead of the City Administrator, who almost always has a conflict of interest, is brand new to the City and is a direct result of my recent PRR Appeals. It could be a good process as long as the Hearing Examiner maintains the independence and integrity they are supposed to have. Whether or not the appointed City Hearing Examiner is truly independent has long been a matter for argument.
Here is some background on Brian McGinn who was appointed during the Condon Administration in 2013 to replace Greg Smith and was unanimously approved by the City Council. We pay Brian McGinn somewhere between 90-100 grand a year to be OUR hearing examiner.
Brian like our Mayor David Condon graduated from Gonzaga Prep where he was a decent debater on the Prep Debate Team. The obvious career path for a local Prep Debate Team Member is of course Gonzaga Law School where McGinn received his JD, eventually going to work for Nancy Isserlis’s old law firm Winston & Cashatt where he worked for over 20 years.
I have been informed that many people at City Hall follow this Blog of mine, however Brian McGinn may not be one of those folks, or just didn’t bother to read this recent story.
Here is Brian McGinn’s decision regarding my appeal of the email redactions in my Lynden Smithson PRR.
McGinn Decision Regarding Smithson:
So we all now know that in Brian McGinn’s opinion the following is gospel:
1) When the City Attorney sends an email to an underling stating, “Curious as to why this got sent to everyone below?”, showing she is obviously concerned about word getting out…the email is covered under Attorney Client Privilege.
2) When an Assistant City Attorney responds to his Boss justifying his shotgun email “Hi Nancy, I have a list of ‘who gets what’ that I inherited from Diane Hendricks…for Paid Admin Leave it goes to the people below (based on department).”… it is Attorney Client Privilege.
3) Brian McGinn is also of the opinion that even though the redacted emails were sent to folks like Natalie Hilderbrand ( firstname.lastname@example.org ) who works for what would normally would be considered the other side of any employee litigation, ( http://www2.council2.com/contact-us/index.html ) the public should be kept in the dark. I didn’t know that providing the other side with Attorney Client Privileged information was SOP for the City…you learn something new every day. Had Brian McGinn read my earlier Blog post he would have noted that I highlighted Natalie Hildebrand’s email address, and could have figured I do things like that for a reason 🙂
You folks reading this, including the folks at City Hall, might wonder if I will appeal McGinn’s decision regarding my appeal. The answer is NO, and even though Laurie Farnsworth is still working on a complete response to my Smithson PRR, and I want that info, I’ve pretty much have most of what I was looking for.
I REPORT YOU DECIDE!