Thursday, May 10, 2012

Trinity grand jury wants answers in timely manner

Posted: Wednesday, May 9, 2012 6:15 am
By Sally Morris The Trinity Journal
In a report just released entitled “Over Due Under Done” the Trinity County grand jury is seeking more complete and more timely responses from county department heads, the Board of Supervisors and other entities when they’ve been subject to grand jury investigations.

The report notes that California penal code clearly states what the content of responses is to be and sets forth the time limits: 60 days from the report filing date for departments/agencies and 90 days for governing bodies. Once all responses are received, they are compiled into a final report for publication and made available to the public.

A standing continuity committee of the 2011-12 grand jury found that of 20 responses required in the past year, 11 were done in a timely manner and two of those were asked to be resubmitted. Of the remainder, two responses were more than 90 days late; two were 280 days past due and five have not been received at all.

The grand jury attributes the violation to the absence of a tracking system between the primary entities involved in the process, including Court Services, the Board of Supervisors chairman and the County Administrative Officer.

Its recommendation is to identify and correct the reasons reports are not being responded to within the mandated time frame, claiming the lack of compliance impedes the grand jury process.

The grand jury also found that copies of responses are not being provided to the grand jury at the same time they are provided to the Superior Court as required by county policy.

In conclusion, the grand jury recommends that Court Services, the Board of Supervisors chairman and the CAO work in conjunction to create an interconnected tracking system that will facilitate the timeframe requirements being met. All three are required to submit responses to the latest report.

The Board of Supervisors last week appointed Sup. Judy Pflueger to draft the board’s response. She commented that the report is lacking in specifics and it will be difficult for the board to respond to insufficient information that requires further analysis.

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