Thursday, September 18, 2008

[LCSD] Alexander's "public records request"

Also in my inbox this morning: correspondence between Mr. Alexander, Mr. Robinson, and the Linn County District Attorney's office regarding Mr. Alexander's request for copies of the "districts [sic] check register" before every board meeting:

Alexander's letter to the Linn DA requesting the same:

The Assistant DA's letter to Robinson:

Robinson's letter to the Assistant DA:

As was noted in the email to me, writing to the DA on November 2nd because one has not received the check register for October seems like jumping the gun. It's entirely possible the financial records for the previous month had not been reconciled at that point.

In any case, Alexander also said this in his statement:

Twice I had to ask the District Attorney to intervene and obtain supposedly public documents.

Technically true, though I think the additional context of seeing just what he was asking for, at least in the one case, is useful. Although, it's possible that Robinson was going to send the October register along anyway, and simply hadn't yet - I just don't know. Frankly, I'm not even sure what asking for the just the check register is good for. There's a lot more that needs to go along with it to make sense of the district's financial records.

To me, it would seem more prudent to ask for a meeting with the District's Finance Director and have that person explain the budget and monthly expenditures, then ask questions or look directly at the check register if one is not satisfied with the answers. But that's just me.

The other thing I want to note about these documents is that there are multiple spelling and grammar errors in both (rather short) documents sent from Mr. Alexander. I don't care what level of education Alexander has or doesn't have, or whether or not he was actually using a typewriter (it looks like it to me, at least on the letter he sent to the DA); there is no excuse for that.


Michael Faris said...

I only follow this controversy on your blog, so I don't have any more knowledge of the events than you provide, but before I even got to your commentary, it seemed fishy to me that the letter was sent to the DA on only the 2nd of the month. Additionally, it seems that Robinson complied quickly (only 3 days from the original letter).

I too was struck was by the poor grammar and punctuation in Alexander's letters. I wouldn't generally judge on such matters, but in a letter in an academic institution regarding legal matters, it would seem prudent to use Standard Written English, mostly because it harms one's ethos not to.

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