Photo: FLLewis/A Writer’s Groove — Burbank City Hall
More fuel got tossed onto the controversy burning around the Burbank Police Commission at last night’s city council meeting. First up, Councilman David Gordon made a passionate plea to his fellow council members to release that confidential memo that prompted their decision last week to re-consider at least one appointment to the police commission.
Dr. Gordon said it was in the “…interest of fairness and due process…” that the memo be made available “…to the individual and to the public…” Ah, but the four other members did not see it that way. They decided to keep the memo shrouded in secrecy. Dr. Gordon made a motion to release the memo, but because no other council member would second it the motion died.
Last week, the council did not mention the name of the newly elected commissioner who’s DUI was reported on in that memo from the City Attorney, Dennis Barlow. However last night, Councilman/ Mayor Gary Bric referred to the commissioner as “Brady” at least twice. Apparently, some council members felt it was okay to mention civil rights activist John Brady by name, since the Burbank Leader had recently used his name in a story about background checks being required of all police commissioners as a result of that memo.
During public comments, long time Burbank resident David Piroli observed that a large number of comments on a Daily News blog and A Writer’s Groove were from people confused about what the police commission does, when it meets, and where to find information about it. In response, City Manager Mike Flad noted the police commission meets quarterly and the announcements are posted at city hall and the library. Still, Flad offered to do “a better job” in the future of getting the word out about the police commission and when and where it meets.
Then, there was the appearance by former Burbank Police Commission Chair Joe Gunn. During public comments, Gunn went into a rant about his eight years on the police commission, 50-year record in law enforcement, and called Councilman Gordon a “bully” for “…publicly accusing me of committing a crime.” Gunn was so upset that he stormed out of the council chamber immediatedly after speaking.
Later, Councilman Gordon said he had made reference to an “apparent violation of the Brown Act” in connection with Gunn’s infamous May 13 e-mail sent out to all the police commissioners asking them to “… refrain from asking City Council members and the City Manager…” about “… a major investigation going on within the Burbank Police Department.” Basically, the California Brown Act states that public bodies must hold public meetings and they are not allowed to take actions in secret.
By the way, the next Burbank Police Commission meeting is this evening at 5:30 p.m. in the community room of the Burbank Police and Fire Headquarters at 200 North First Street.