California Gov. Jerry Brown’s office responded Thursday to allegations by the Associated Press that he had used state experts to explore the oil potential of his family’s private land by insisting he had done nothing illegal.
Deputy spokesman Gareth Lacy told Breitbart News: “The Governor is interested in the history and geology of his family ranch in Colusa County—not drilling for oil or gas—and has the same right as anyone to obtain public records.”
Lacy went on to cite California Government Code section 6252.5: “an elected member or officer of any state or local agency is entitled to access to public records of that agency on the same basis as any other person.”
Breitbart News had noted earlier that section 8314 states: ““It is unlawful for any elected state or local officer…to use or permit others to use public resources for…personal or other purposes which are not authorized by law.”
Against allegations by the AP that Brown’s request was unusual, Lacy argued: “The Department of Conservation regularly fields similar requests for public, historical well and geological information–from property owners interested in records and local government officials requesting maps for permitting purposes to reporters seeking information for a story.”
He accused the AP of publishing before receiving similar records compiled by the state.