Valencia Library Patron Files Lawsuit Against City Alleging Brown Act Violation
Edward Shain, a Santa Clarita resident and frequent user of the Valencia Library, has filed a lawsuit against City officials, claiming that they decided to secede from the County of Los of Angeles Public Library before holding a public discussion, which would be a violation of the Brown Act.
At an August 24 City Council meeting, the Council members voted 4-1 to withdraw from the County Library system and instead contract with Library Systems and Services, LLC to operate the three libraries in Santa Clarita.
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Shain was one of the 12 signees of the “Brown Act Cure” letter, which asked City officials to rescind their decision and hold public meetings on the matter.
That letter was given to the City on September 28 and rejected.
According to local attorney Don Ricketts, the letter’s rejection subsequently triggered a statute of limitations for any party wishing to file a lawsuit against the City alleging the Brown Act violation.
That statute of limitations ran until today, when Ricketts submitted the complaint on behalf of Shain.
Ricketts is also representing Save Our Library, a nonprofit group suing the City based on concerns over LSSI’s needed access to the personal information of library patrons.
Council members Laurie Ender, Marsha McLean, Frank Ferry and Laurene Weste, as well as City Manager Ken Pulskamp and Deputy City Manager Darren Hernandez are the defendants in Shain’s lawsuit.
The complaint calls for the contract between the City of Santa Clarita and LSSI to become null and void.
Another group – composed of Santa Clarita library users and members of the Service Employees International Union, which represents County Library employees – did not file a lawsuit for a Brown Act violation on Monday.