COMPTON, Calif. – The city of Compton has reached a settlement over its failure to release employee salary records in a timely manner.
Compton officials refused to release transparency data detailing the names and salaries of employees, as required by law, for nearly a year. A suit was filed against the city on November 18th. The settlement, reached on December 15th, requires Compton officials to turn over the data originally requested, which they have now done.
As part of the settlement, Compton is also required to reimburse Nevada Policy for court costs, which totaled $7,500.
“This is a great day for open government in California,” said Todd Maddison, Transparent California’s director of research. “We can only hope every government agency in the state will understand responding to our requests is a legal requirement under the Public Records Act and simply provide us with that data so actions like this are not needed.”
“Actions like this are necessary because Californians rarely receive the full transparency promised by the state’s Public Records Act,” Maddison said. “Until the legislature treats public officials the same as all other Californians and imposes a penalty on those who choose to ignore the law, it’s likely this sort of behavior will continue.”
Compton City Clerk Alita Godwin, who is over the office that releases the records has announced her retirement from the City effective the end of this month,
The City has not indicated whether they will appoint a new city clerk or hold a special election.
A recent audit released by the state of California continues to detail the City is on the brink of fiscal insolvency due to its repeated failures to provide basic financial information on the City’s finances.
Compton continues to top the state auditor’s annual list of “fiscally challenged” cities.