Victorville agrees to open more records to grand jury

Victorville Daily Press
August 4, 2010

Victorville agrees to open more records to grand jury

By Brooke Edwards

VICTORVILLE • The City Council has agreed to waive attorney-client privilege on a limited basis, opening more records to the grand jury and its forensic auditor as an investigation into Victorville’s finances and management practices continues.

“The council agreed unanimously to cooperate with the forensic auditor and to provide documentation to the forensic auditor which he has requested,” City Attorney Andre de Bortnowsky announced following a lengthy closed session discussion regarding potential litigation Tuesday night.

The grand jury first began probing Victorville in spring 2009, asking the San Bernardino County Board of Supervisors this May for an extra $195,000 to hire top forensic auditor Kessler International.

The New York-based firm has been collecting records for the last two months, with its own temporary office at Victorville City Hall, and recently requested that the city waive attorney-client privilege so that it can access communication between de Bortnowsky, the council and city staff as it relates to the slew of litigation Victorville has been caught up in over the last several years.

The waiver approved Tuesday night does not apply to records tied to ongoing litigation or to litigation Victorville may initiate, de Bortnowsky said, out of concern for how that might compromise those negotiations. And de Bortnowsky said the city is still clarifying how the move relates to records otherwise deemed private by federal statue such as HIPAA laws.

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Brooke Edwards may be reached at (760) 955-5358 or at bedwards@VVDailyPress.com.

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