Under Meister’s leadership, the Clerk’s office will increase transparency. This will include :
Access to Information
The plan to modernize the office’s computer system will mean more information and tools will be accessible online to the public, practitioners, and other stakeholders who need access to court files. Meister will comply with the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) and will work with academics and researchers to make data available for those conducting research about important criminal and civil justice issues. Further, Meister will submit the Clerk’s financial records to a full audit so that the Clerk’s office is held accountable for its handling of hundreds of millions of dollars in fines, fees and forfeitures every year.
The Clerk’s office is ethically and operationally broken, steeped in machine-style cronyism and bogged down by decades of political patronage. Operational problems cannot be resolved without fixing the myriad of ethical issues. Meister is fully committed to changing the culture and atmosphere of the Clerk’s office. Employees will no longer work in a pay-to-play environment that requires them to do political work to get or keep their jobs. He will institute a merit-based hiring system, with promotions coming from within, and will bring the office into strict compliance with Schackman standards. He will also prohibit employees from doing political work on county time, establish protocols to monitor this behavior, and aggressively discipline employees that violate policies. The Clerk’s office also needs a truly independent Inspector General, with investigative and enforcement authority, to oversee issues of ethics, hiring and firing and political activity done on County time.