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Investigative Report can be Disclosed to the Public

Jan 29, 2012

By Amy Oppenheimer

A California Court has held that an investigative report in a sexual harassment complaint against a public school teacher is subject to disclosure under the Public Records Act

The case is Marken v. Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District

A high school teacher was accused of sexually harassing a 13 year old student.  An outside investigator issued a report finding that the School District’s sexual harassment policy had been violated. Two years later a parent requested disclosure of the report under the California Public Records Act (CPRA) (Gov. Code, § 6250 et seq.)  Marken filed a  complaint alleging disclosure of his personnel records was not authorized under the CPRA and would violate his constitutional and statutory rights of privacy.  The trial court found against Marken and the appellate court affirmed, finding that the public interest in disclosure of the report outweighed Marken’s privacy interests.