Attorney for Grossmont Healthcare Board Rejects Demands by Open-Meeting Advocacy Group
La Mesa Patch (2010-11-18) Kenneth Stone
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Jeff Scott, general counsel for the district board, tells California Aware that the closed session in Jim Stieringer case was legal because it involved potential litigation.
A lawyer for the Grossmont Healthcare District board has rejected demands to nullify its closed-session decision in the case of resigned board member Jim Stieringer, writing to California Aware that the board acted legally.
"Exception is taken to your contention that the closed session was unauthorized
pursuant to the Brown Act," general counsel Jeff Scott of the district wrote Richard P. Mc Kee
of Cal Aware
, a watchdog group that pushes for open meetings.
Scott's two-page letter, dated Nov. 18, said Stieringer's attempt to rescind his retirement "raised a number of legal concerns which included a significant exposure to litigation against the local agency."
Scott said he shared his legal concerns with board President Gloria Chadwick and asked that she call Monday's special meeting.
"Prior to the closed session meeting, I provided the board with a confidential written opinion which set forth my legal analysis and the basis for the significant exposure to litigation," Scott wrote. "My letter was a confidential attorney/client communication."
Scott's letter included two attachments—the Nov. 5 retirement letter from Stieringer and his Nov. 10 letter rescinding his resignation from the board.
La Mesa Patch has made several attempts to contact Stieringer, with no success.
The Grossmont Healthcare District
acts as landlord to Sharp Grossmont Hospital and seeks to satisfy the unmet health-care needs of a large East County area
stretching from Santee and Lakeside on the north to Spring Valley and Lemon Grove south and Campo and Buckman Springs to the east.