Newspaper, FOI Group File Suit to Learn Chairman’s Whereabouts During California Fires

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A newspaper and a freedom of information group have filed a lawsuit asking a judge to order the Board of Supervisors chairman to release records that reveal what he was doing during the recent Sawtooth and Millard wildfires.

The San Bernardino Sun and the California First Amendment Coalition filed the suit Thursday after county attorneys denied their public-records requests seeking Chairman Bill Postmus’ calendars and communications for the two weeks in July when the fires raged in the county.

Calendars for two weeks immediately prior to the request were also sought.

“Voters will read that refusal either as an act of arrogance or indifference to the public — and they’ll wonder, understandably, whether Mr. Postmus has something to hide,” First Amendment Coalition director Peter Scheer wrote in an e-mail.

Postmus was absent from county offices while the wildfires burned near the Morongo Basin and through the San Gorgonio Wilderness in late July.

His county staffers have declined to comment on his whereabouts during the crisis.

Postmus spokesman David Zook said Thursday that neither he nor the supervisor would comment on the lawsuit.

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