4/6/2012 update: And this morning after wasting a bit of our county DA’s time Randy Geller folded and gave up the contracts and invoices for the two firms UO has hired to advise them on the union organizing effort, here.
One is with Stephen Hirschfeld of the SF firm Curiale Hirschfeld Kraemer, signed Feb 1, one invoice so far for $7,834.71. The other is with Sharon Rudnick of Harrang Long Gary and Rudnick, signed Feb 2, no billing yet. (No mention of chinese wall for Frohnmayer). These files are heavily redacted, and in white rather than black, making the extent of redactions less obvious. Tricky, and considered bad practice by those in the public records business.
By sitting on these contracts until after the 4/4 petition response deadline Geller made it impossible for faculty to consider this information when deciding how to respond to the ERB petitions. To me it doesn’t really seem worth giving the union attorneys that sort of ammunition.
A commenter notes that the UA union attorney is Michael Tedesco, of Lake Oswego.
4/4/2012: 2 weeks ago I asked UO for
… copies of any UO contracts and invoices for legal advice or consulting assistant related to the attempt to create a UO faculty union from 7/1/2010 to the present.
I made a similar request 2 years ago, and got this. Randy Geller is sitting on the new contracts, so I followed Oregon public records law and petitioned Lane County DA Alex Gardner for an order requiring him to surrender them peaceably. The trail so far, starting with my petition yesterday:
Dear District Attorney Gardner:
Two weeks ago I made a public records request to the University of Oregon’s public records officer Lisa Thornton, asking for
… copies of any UO contracts and invoices for legal advice or consulting assistant related to the attempt to create a UO faculty union from 7/1/2010 to the present. I am making a similar request to OUS.
I ask for a fee waiver on the grounds of public interest, which is large.
I asked for these documents because a group of UO faculty has submitted a unionization petition to the state Employment Relations Board, and many people at UO are curious who is advising the UO administration about this effort. Several petitions from faculty are underway, and as I explained in my request the deadline for these is April 4:
I would appreciate it if you could expedite this request, as the matter is currently before the state ERB, and they are only accepting objections to the process and unit definitions until April 4.
My understanding is that these documents are in the possession of the UO General Counsel, Randy Geller, and that his office is the holdup in releasing them.
I do not think this delay is reasonable under Oregon’s public records law. Therefore I am petitioning your office to order UO to release the documents without delay.
And the response from the DA’s office, today:
Dear Ms. Thornton,
The District Attorney received the below appeal on a denial of a public records request made to you by X. The District Attorney only has seven days from receipt of the appeal to issue an opinion.
Please provide me the basis of the denial by Friday, April 6th at 2:00 p.m. It may be necessary for me to inspect the records prior to issuing an opinion if the records exist.
If the request has not been denied, please advise when the records will be available for copy or inspection.
Patricia W. Perlow
Lane County District Attorney’s Office