Arca lauds judge’s ruling

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Arca lauds judge’s ruling By Karen White / Senior Times Writer Sept 26 2002 GUADALUPE — Mayor Sam Arca of Guadalupe, now running for re-election, hopes a judge’s decision to reveal portions of numbers from his cellular phone will quiet public pressure about its use in the past year. “I don’t mind a partial list,” he said, after a Tuesday judgment that went against his phone fight. The city, representing Arca, had fought a request that all numbers be revealed, sought by Barbara Gilliland. Her husband, Jim, is running against Arca for mayor. Gilliland, and her attorney, Danny Weil, said the volume of calls, and the times and dates, make them believe the phone was not always used for city business. Santa Maria Superior Court Judge Rodney Melville ruled Tuesday that the complete accounting of 800, 877, 900 and 976 prefix numbers must be revealed. But for private numbers, he ruled the last three numbers must be blacked out or “redacted.” Melville said cutting the last three digits would protect the privacy of individuals. Arca said he appreciated the judge’s decision to protect the privacy of persons he called. He said the list could have revealed the private numbers of many persons he contacts for the city, such as the leaders of the Chumash Indian group. The Chumash supports various city programs and has helped support the annual public fireworks show. Originally, the request from Gilliland sought the complete numbers, Arca said. According to Arca, had Gilliland originally asked just for partial numbers, the issue probably would not have ended up in court. The suit will cost the city’s taxpayers an unknown amount of money, because Melville authorized “reasonable fees” to Weil. The judge must approve this billing to the city. “There are no calls to sex lines or psychic hot lines,” Arca said. He has previously said the phone was only used for city business. He also pointed out that he did not make upwards to 6,000 calls, as alleged. The total could have included incoming calls to Arca’s phone. These numbers were not recorded. The cell phone bill paid by the city allegedly was $2,669 for a period from 2000 through 2001. Melville’s decision is open to appeal. Arca said it would be up to the entire City Council to decide that issue. But Arca said “Melville is a good man” and he has no problem with the judge’s ruling. “The main thing is that private phone numbers were protected.” * Senior staff writer Karen White can be reached at (805) 739-2217 or by e-mail at Sept. 26, 2002 :nav Source:

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