According to the San Francisco Chronicle, legislation that would reopen access to police disciplinary records by rolling back a 2006 state Supreme Court ruling appears to be dead for the year as the result of a strong lobbying effort by law enforcement unions. Although the measure has the support of many elected officials, community organizations, newspapers, and civil liberties groups, it is opposed by dozens of law enforcement groups.
To win passage in 2007, the measure by state Senate Majority Leader Gloria Romero, D-Los Angeles, needs to clear the Assembly Public Safety Committee by Friday. However, the panel’s chairman has scheduled no further hearings on the bill, which has already passed the state Senate. “If lawyers are faithless to their trust, one can find out about it by looking on the Internet,” said Merrick Bobb, an expert on police disciplinary systems who consults with law enforcement agencies. “The same is true for doctors and accountants, and the same rules should apply to law enforcement officials and perhaps even more so — given that they have the power of the gun and badge.”