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Violation of the Brown Act - request for criminal charges

From: Peter Carpenter <peterfcarpenter_at_(domain_name_was_removed)>
Date: Thu, 9 Dec 2010 13:20:23 -0800

Dear Mr. Serrato,
 Ms. Ferguson has acknowledged her violation of the Brown Act and I believe that this in far from the first time that she has violated the Brown Act.

 I therefore request that the District Attorney, under 54959. Violation of Act; Criminal penalty, bring criminal charges against her to both appropriately punish her for this violation and to establish judicial oversight over her further actions as an elected official.


Peter F. Carpenter
1 larch Drive
Atherton, ca 94027-2125

Statement Regarding Possible Brown Act Violations

Kelly Fergusson

December 9, 2010  

After speaking with the city attorney, it appears I was directly or indirectly involved in possible Brown Act violations in the days leading up to the mayor selection on December 7 based on conversations with Rich Cline and Peter Ohtaki. Neither was aware I had had communicated with the other. I did not have any conversations with either Kirsten Keith or Andy Cohen. To the extent there may have been Brown Act violations, I sincerely apologize to the community and my fellow councilmembers for my involvement.  

If there was a violation, it was not intentional. I believed I was lobbying or stating my position to inform members of the council, and to gain their support. Likewise I stated my position with community members that may have subsequently talked to councilmembers to gain support. I was not attempting to achieve a consensus.  

I made a hopeful statement before the meeting that I believed I would get three votes. This was based on speaking with a trusted individual with proven judgment whose guess or bet was that I would become mayor, not based on any knowledge of specific votes or an achieved consensus.  

When I went into the City Council meeting on Dec. 7, I was hopeful that I would receive three or more votes, but I did not know whether I would be selected.  

I take full responsibility for my actions. I will be extremely careful regarding the Brown Act in the future, recognizing that it may apply to campaigning as well as regular council issues. To emphasize my commitment and deepen my understanding, I am signing up for a Brown Act training course.  

Per the terms of the Brown Act, a “Cure and Correct” action will be agendized for a special city council meeting very soon, wherein the previous action is voided, nominations are re-opened, and the vote is retaken. This will occur for both mayor and vice-mayor.       Received on Thu Dec 09 2010 - 13:20:50 PST

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