August 1, 2013 To: Metro Board of Directors Fr: Damien Newton, Streetsblog LA Re: Who is the decision maker on the I-710 Gap Closure Project Dear Board of Directors, At the last week’s Metro Board meeting, County Attorney Charles Safer responded to an April motion by Board Member Ara Najarian containing questions on the I-710 Gap Closure Project. The Najarian motion sought the answers to three basic questions concerning the relationship between Caltrans and Metro on this project. Specifically, Najarian sought to see who was the final decision maker on the project, who would be liable to defend the EIR for the project in court, and whether or not there is an MOU concerning the project between the two agencies. At last week’s meeting, it was revealed that Safer’s answers to these questions were not going to be made available to the public. Safer cited attorney-client privilege, leaving the Metro Board to decide whether or not such basic questions could be given to the public. Why the Board did not immediately act to waive this privilege is not known. As an accredited media source that regularly covers Metro and this project, we are formally requesting that the Metro Board of Directors agendize a motion to waive attorney-client privilege. The answers to the questions posed by Najarian’s April motion could have been answered by any member of the Metro staff and having the county attorney answer suggests that he was drafted solely to keep this information from the public’s hands. The easiest way for Metro to correct the error of having the County Attorney’s office provide these answers is to waive privilege. Forcing the public to pursue other avenues will prove costly both financially and in Metro’s standing with the public. I can be reached at or 323-774-8828 at any time. Wishing you the Best, Damien Newton

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