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LA County refuses to comply with child fatality audit

Is LA's defiance of a subpoena legal?
Is LA's defiance of a subpoena legal?
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Los Angeles County supervisors are defying a subpoena to supply records from the LA Department of Children and Family Services. The audit is an attempt to look at the deaths of children who had been under the supervision of that department. LA County supervisors say they will not turn over specific documents due to attorney client privilege issues, even as California's state auditor is warning that this non compliance will be treated as a crime. Are the supervisors right to protect what they are calling the "sacrosanct" attorney-client privilege? And just where is that line? The state says that many of the records in question were simply reviewed by lawyers and do not even belong in this category. Furthermore, under a 2008 law, the DCFS is required to release records to the public when a child under its care has died. Meanwhile, three other counties involved in similar audits have submitted all requested documents. What does each side need to see the standoff resolved?


Zev Yaroslavsky, Los Angeles County Supervisor, 3rd District

Dr. Jackie Contreras, Departing Interim Director, Los Angeles County Department of Children and Family Services