County demands blogger remove personal information
October 15, 2010
UPDATE: Ochs reported on Friday that all personal information has been removed from his blog at the request of county counsel. Ochs said he took the information down shortly after he received the email.
San Luis Obispo County Counsel Warren Jensen is demanding that a Central Coast blogger remove the home addresses and phone numbers of three public officials that he has posted on his site.
Aaron Ochs, who writes the blog “The Razor Online,” posted an article called “Get the Facts: Ring Paavo’s Doorbell,” in which he lists the home address and phone number for three county officials directly involved in the Los Osos wastewater controversy: Bruce Gibson, Paavo Ogren, and John Diodati.
Ochs suggested that more names and addresses might be posted.
“Go ahead, ring their doorbells. Knock on their doors. Give them a call,” Ochs urged. “Let them know you want a conversation. Let them know you want your questions answered. Because they’re building Los Osos a sewer that will become the most expensive public works project per capita in the United States — with Los Osos’ money, not theirs — and we’re entitled to the facts.”
Jensen’s email to Ochs, a copy of which was obtained by CalCoastNews, requested that the personal information be removed immediately:
“Pursuant to California Government Code section 6254.21(c)(3), Paavo Ogren, John Diodati,and Bruce Gibson have designated the County as their agent to make a written demand that you remove their home addresses and home phone numbers from the Razor Online site.
“Pursuant to 6254.21, these three individuals are elected or appointed officials of the County who are entitled to have this information removed from the internet. They fear that having their home addresses and phone numbers jeopardizes their safety, given the past threatening behavior of some Los Osos residents, and the likelihood that the inflammatory and unfounded assertions contained in the article will induce an unstable person to take matters into his or her own hands.
“A copy of section 6254.21 is attached for your information. This e-mail will be followed up with a written demand that will be personally served on you as soon as feasible. I am hoping that you will remove the illegally posted addresses and phone numbers in response to this e-mail so that you can come into compliance with the law without delay.”
The information remains on Ochs’ site as of Friday morning.
Warren R. Jensen | County Counsel | San Luis Obispo County