Public Integrity & the Brown Act
Public Integrity Matters and The Ralph M. Brown Act
The Marin District Attorney is committed to assuring honest and open government. All written reports of governmental corruption are carefully reviewed for evidence of wrongdoing which would warrant action. Depending upon the nature and extent of the claimed misconduct the District Attorney may refer the matter to the Fair Political Practices Commission, an appropriate police agency or conduct its own investigation.
The District Attorney is not empowered to question the decisions of other governmental entities. Issues of taxes, spending, personnel, and planning and zoning are not matters that can be addressed by this office. Governmental officials are elected and/or appointed to make such decisions and may do so provided their proceedings are conducted in an honest, open and public manner as required by law.
The Ralph M. Brown Act
Generally, California's "Open Meeting Law" (commonly called the Brown Act) requires that public business be conducted in public. The act contains a number of provisions designed to further this important goal. The act requires local governmental bodies to give notice of their meetings, describe the business they intend to transact in advance of taking action, receive citizen input and, with limited exceptions, publicly reach a decision.
Some violations of the Brown Act may constitute misdemeanor crimes but the act provides less serious remedies for most errors and infractions.
Other Public Integrity Issues
The District Attorney also has responsibility for the enforcement of various laws regulating and safeguarding the political and governmental process. These include: Campaign financing disclosure; conflict of interest; corruption; voter registration fraud; and, election fraud.
Complaints should be in writing and signed by the reporting party. The District Attorney will maintain the anonymity of the reporting person(s) unless disclosure is required by a court of law.
Complaints should be sent to:
Marin County District Attorney
3501 Civic Center Drive, Room 145
San Rafael, California 94903
Attention: Inspector Michael McBride