County Responds To Public Records Request, Fails To Release Documents To Record Searchlight

Shasta County has provided an official response to claims by the Record Searchlight about the court-ordered release of some documents related to former Sheriff Eric Magrini. The newspaper says it had been denied multiple public records requests starting in August of 2021 concerning issues surrounding Magrini’s dismissal as Sheriff following staff votes of no confidence, his subsequent appointment to a newly created position as Assistant County Executive Officer, and the appointment of Michael Johnson as replacement Sheriff. The county said the internal communications were confidential, and the Searchlight sued. The newspaper says a judge ruled on April 10th that the county must give up the documents within 15 days without charge and pay the newspaper’s legal fees. The county has not followed through and on Wednesday the county released a statement saying that the Searchlight was being misleading and that the judge had not made a final decision in the case. Among the reasons cited for withholding the documents are the importance of maintaining confidentiality for county employees in general, and particularly those who may wish to help in the ongoing investigation.