Monrovia Council accused of Brown Act Violation

By Susan Motander
The Monrovia City Council has been accused of violated the Brown Act, the law that requires open, notice meetings. A group called Californians Aware has accused the council of violating the open meeting law when, at closed session last December, council discussed the terms of a loan made to then City Manager Scott Ochoa.
In November of last year, Ochoa was appointed City Manager of Glendale with his employment to begin in January of this year. The Monrovia Council gave notice of a closed session in December with the topic being “Public Employment: City Manager.”
In 2004, Monrovia gave Ochoa a loan to assist him to move to into the city when he was appointed City Manager. Last week Ochoa sent the City a letter requesting a modification of that loan. In the letter, he wrote “In December 2011, I met with the Council in Closed Session to discuss ways of removing the city from the title of the Madeline Drive house so that we could sell it and move to Glendale.”
It was this meeting which is alleged to have been in violation of the open meeting law. Monrovia’s City Attorney Craig Steele has been quoted as saying that the city had a very open and noticed discussion of the issue at the last Council Meeting and that there had been no pre-judgment of decision on any aspect of this issue prior to that discussion in Open Session. Repeated attempts to contact Steele for additional comments went unanswered at deadline.

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