The best part of the longrunning AtPac v. Aptitude Solutions copyright infringement lawsuit is the “story within a story,” as I’ve mentioned previously.
I’ve been interested in how certain information about the case, which also mentions clerk-recorder Greg Diaz as a defendant, gets leaked and why. It can help shine a light on whether there are political motives in this case that go well beyond arcane copyright law.
The community has a right to know about any political ax grinding, because it could wind up bearing some of the costs for an inevitable out-of-court settlement, along with insurers.
When it comes to making political hay out of this case, much of my concern goes back to Tom McClintock’s inappropriate statement at a tea party rally that it was time to replace the “left-wing” clerk-recorder with Barry Pruett, whom McClintock heartily endorsed. For the record, Diaz is a “decline to state” voter with experience in the Elections Office.
Pruett had no such resume, though he was endorsed by die-hard GOP supporters, such as McClintock and hard-right members of the local GOP central committee. Even Aaron Klein, the big GOP supporter from neighboring Placer County, endorsed Pruett (while conceding he never met his opponent). This was supposedly a nonpartisan race.
Our two moderate conservative supervisors, Nate Beason and Ted Owens, endorsed Diaz because he was the most experienced for the post.
As for lingering political motives in the case, I noted on April 16 that local right-wing blogger Russ Steele — who has been sympathetic to Pruett and AtPac, along with his fellow political bloggers — went so far as to link directly to unredacted court documents from the case marked as “highly confidential/attorney’s eyes only” to make his point. It led to the release of the home address of an employee who was involved in the case.
I asked: “Who leaked the documents to Steele and why? Was this issue of redaction — to protect the privacy of people who are involved — not explained to Steele?” After my report appeared, Steele redacted the information.
Now another twist in the case has surfaced on the blogs sympathetic to AtPac and Pruett — raising the same issues.
In “The AtPac Suit — more fumes ascending,” right-wing blogger George Rebane writes, “I have received a PDF copy of this contract that is also available from the Nevada County's website here," Rebane writes.
But like Steele, he does not say from whom. Where's the transparency?
Worse, from my perspective, is the continued innuendo in the case from the hard right blogs without a shred of hard evidence.
•"Local blogs broke the news, and have been following, the ongoing corruption in the Clerk Recorders Office at the County Rood Center.” (NCMediaWatch, April 16, 2010)
What corruption? Where’s the proof?
•”I too was and am a supporter of Barry Pruett, and found it more than remarkable that Mr. Diaz’s record was so purposely ignored by the Nevada County establishment (I’m not ready to call it the ‘machine’ yet, but let’s see what comes out of Rood Center first).” (George Rebane)
What record? What “machine”?
•”In all honesty Russ and when this whole thing started in June 2008, I naively thought that we could talk to the BOS and tell them the truth about what Diaz was doing…and they would listen. I was wrong.” (Barry Pruett)
What “truth about what Diaz was doing?”
•”It is my experience in elections here in Nevada County that incompetence is never an impediment to the post. Every election in my political life here was screwed up so I don’t have any expectations with Diaz.” (Todd Juvinall)
What “incompetence” related to elections?
When the stories appear on the right-wing blogs they inevitably wind up in The Union. In “County ordered internal investigation in AtPac case,” the newspaper writes, “According to a document obtained by The Union, . . .”
Obtained from whom beyond the document on the county’s website? Who did the nudging?
In addition, the reporting of a single “Exhibit A” from this document that singles out an employee who allegedly ordered the scrubbing — without the full report — raises more questions that it answers.
It borders on the irresponsible, just like posting a unredacted document that exposed another employee’s home address.
As for selective reporting, I also wonder why neither The Union nor the right-wing bloggers pointed to this sentence in the contract’s “statement of work”:
“Interview appropriate staff as recommended by the county, but at a minumum, the following individuals: Mr. Stephen Monaghan, IGS Director, Chief Information Security Officer for the county, Network Administrator for the County” and some other officials in the IT group.
But nowhere does the investigation mention interviewing anyone in the clerk-recorder’s office. It is IT focused.
So where’s the evidence of the alleged “ongoing corruption” in the clerk-recorder’s office?
Where’s the “machine”?
Where’s the beef?
I also noticed that this report surfaced ahead of oral arguments for AtPac’s motion to find summary judgment in its favor on Tuesday.
That’s a coincidence!
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