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Days after the evacuation orders were lifted in February, The Sacramento Bee filed requests to the state under the California Public Records Act. In one request, the newspaper sought design specifications, federal inspection reports, technical documents, the results of rock sampling and other information. Outside engineers told The Bee such records would likely provide an accounting of what caused a gaping chasm to form in the dam’s main concrete spillway on Feb. 7 and the near collapse of the dam’s emergency spillway a few days later.
The Bee also sought internal communications and emails from Brown’s office. Those records could show how Brown and his top staff members were coordinating the ongoing crisis with each other, with outside agencies and with members of the public.
The administration denied the request for technical information about the dam and provided a limited response to the request for internal communications.