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Judge Sides With Governor on Calendar

November 23, 1988|From a Times Staff Writer

SACRAMENTO — Superior Court Judge Anthony DeCristoforo Jr. ruled Tuesday that Gov. George Deukmejian does not have to make public his daily calendar because such a disclosure could jeopardize his safety and interfere with the privacy of his decision-making.

The Times Mirror Co., which publishes The Times, sued Deukmejian under the state Public Records Act after the governor declined a Times reporter's request for his daily calendars.

The release of the calendars would have provided an account of Deukmejian's activities as governor--a listing of people he has met with on official business and the location of each meeting.

Times Mirror has not decided whether to appeal, attorney Rex S. Heinke said. But he added, "I believe that the decision is plainly wrong because neither of the justifications has any substance."

Deputy Atty. Gen. Robert L. Mukai, who represented Deukmejian, applauded the decision: "The judge did his homework. . . . I think the judge's order will hold."

The Times requested the records in August but was promptly turned down by Deukmejian, who contended that the information was exempt under the records act as "correspondence of and to the governor or employees of the governor's office."

In a signed statement, Deukmejian later argued that "routine disclosure of the identities of the persons with whom I meet, and the occasions on which I meet with them, would be counterproductive." He also said that release of his daily calendar, even after the fact, "would render gubernatorial security far more difficult."

DeCristoforo, who was appointed to the bench by Deukmejian, agreed with both arguments, noting that Tuesday was the anniversary of President John F. Kennedy's assassination.

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