Nearly everyone agrees that transparency and accountability bring trust and value to all levels of government. However, the manner in which the State Controller asked for payroll information from California’s cities has raised so legal questions in Orange.

A few weeks ago, as part of compiling the data from employee’s W-2 forms, the City Attorney realized there may be some legal problems to disclosing private tax information.

From The Orange County Register:

…the City of Orange has provided about 80% of the information requested by the State Controllers Office,” city of Orange spokesman Paul Sitkoff told us in an email. “In performing our due diligence on the request, City Attorney, David DeBerry, has conducted research and, upon cases he has reviewed, found that information off employees W-2 forms is privileged tax information, and cannot be disclosed.”

More than one month ago, DeBerry alerted the state’s lawyers of his findings, “and requested authority from State Controller showing that W-2 forms can be released,” Sitkoff said.

Read the full article here.