The public has the right to inspect the hiring records of police agencies throughout California and to learn the names and salaries of government employees, says a California Supreme Court ruling today reported by the Los Angeles Times. The court ruled against a state commission and unions for police and other government workers and declared that salary and hiring records were public documents.
The Times brought the police hiring case after one of its reporters tried to investigate a tip that problem officers were moving from department to department around the state. The Commission on Peace Officer Standards and Training insisted that the names and hiring dates of police officers were confidential. A divided appeals court ruled in favor of keeping the records secret.