Subpoenas Stem from Palm Springs Lawsuit Against College of the Desert Claiming it Failed to Provide Public Records

COLLEGE OF THE DESERT — At least 14 individuals, primarily leaders, and companies associated with College of the Desert have been served subpoenas to be deposed in the longstanding lawsuit the city of Palm Springs filed against COD over the college allegedly not turning over public documents, Uken Report has confirmed.

The city’s outside legal counsel handling the Public Records Act request served the subpoenas. The subpoenas were filed in California Superior Court, Riverside County, Palm Springs Courthouse. All of the party notices were sent April 17, with the exception of one, which was sent April 18.

The depositions will be upon oral examination, under oath, and recorded steno-graphically by a Certified Shorthand Reporter authorized to administer oaths in the State of California. The depositions will continue from day to day, excluding Sundays and holidays, until completed.

Those subpoenaed include: Robert Rauscher; Maas Companies Inc.; Christina Tafoya; John White; Jessica Enders; Nicholas Robles, public information officer; Scott Adkins; Superintendent/President Laura Hope; Pam Hunter; Mitch Fine; Desert Community College District’s Person most qualified; Mac McGinnis; Stephen M. McLoughlin; and former Vice President Jeff Baker.

Depositions are set to begin as soon as May 1 and continue through at least May 20. They will be held in both Palm Desert and Los Angeles.

College of the Desert declined to comment.

“College of the Desert is in ongoing litigation with the city of Palm Springs and continues to fulfill its obligations during this process,” Robles told Uken Report. “Due to the ongoing nature of the litigation, we are not providing any further comments at this time.”

The subpoenas all stem from September 2022. That’s when the city of Palm Springs sued College of the Desert for what it alleged to be a lack of compliance with the California Public Records Act, a law passed by the California State Legislature and signed by then-Gov. Ronald Reagan in 1968 requiring inspection or disclosure of governmental records to the public upon request, unless exempted by law.

The law requires public agencies to make public documents available upon request in a timely manner. COD did not do that, Palm Springs claimed.

The city filed the complaint on Sept. 20, 2022, in Riverside County Superior Court and served the College on Oct. 13, 2022, City Attorney Jeff Ballinger said. The complaint involves the COD’s response to the city’s PRA requests regarding the Palm Springs campus.

If you want to read the back and forth between PS and COD lawsuit history, it is all provided on PS website:

Image Sources

  • Subpoena,Title,On,Legal,Documents: Shutterstock