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California Leaders Dump Secret Pay Policy
Within a week after The North Country Gazette published an article about William S. Hochman, an alleged county commissioner handling child support cases in Marin County, and the county's refusal to provide public information about Hochman's position, county leaders dumped their secret pay policy and unanimously voted that the public has a right to know.Earlier this month, NCG had revealed that the Marin County Board of Supervisors had refused to respond to a public records request relating to Hochman, who they referred to as a ‘pro tem commissioner". According to the Marin County Bar Association and the title he uses, Hochman's a commissioner with the Marin County Superior Court, rendering decisions in the Department of Child Support Services and in essence, involved in administering a $90.2 million contract between the Department of Child Support Services and the Judicial Council of California.But according to the website for the Marin County Superior Court, Hochman's not a commissioner.The "program" which Hochman presumably oversees reportedly nets Marin County about $654,000 a year for his services although his salary is allegedly in the neighborhood of $150,000 with retirement contributions reportedly about $90,000.But the NCG was unable to obtain a job description of Hochman's designated duties, his salary or a copy of his oath of office, required by law to be taken and filed by Hochman before he can perform the duties of the appointed office.When a California resident attempted to utilize a subpoena to obtain the public information concerning the administration of the state and federal monies and information concerning Hochman's appointment and compensation, Hochman himself quashed it.The NCG article, "Child Support Rulings Could Be In Jeopardy Due To Oath Issue" noted that Marin County officials had been reluctant to comply with the state's laws concerning public records about Hochman.http://www.northcountrygazette.org/articles/031406CaliforniaOaths.html Maybe it was the fact that Sunshine Week was being observed throughout the nation, opening the doors to government and the public's right to know how governmental business is being conducted and how public officers are performing, the NCG article or a combination of both but the supervisors decided it was time to open their doors and stop hiding public records, in particular the salaries of public officers such as Hochman. Neither Marin County nor state officials can or will produce either an oath of office or a bond for Hochman, both required.Without an oath and bond being subscribed to and filed in the county clerk's office, Hochman can't legally perform judicial duties and can't legally be paid by county tax dollars.With the Marin County Board of Supervisors letting the sun shine in, public records requests for information concerning Hochman's salary and contract have already been filed.3-28-06
Lefkort tried to explain the unfairness in a letter to the judicial officer, in this case, Marin County Superior Court Commissioner William Hochman.
Whether the judge did or not, was hard to tell; in the charge sheet, Hochman did not even bother to sign the document, his name was rubber-stamped instead. Will Red Bank be getting rid of its red light cameras?
Commissioner William S. Hochman, appointed by the Court in 2006, received his bachelor's degree from Indiana University and law degree from George Washington University School of Law.
Marin County Superior Court – Commissioner Biographies
Commissioner William S. Hochman, appointed by the Court in 2006, earned his bachelor's degree from Indiana University and law degree from George Washington University School of Law.
Judge Verna Adams gave $1,000; Commissioner Roy Chernus, $1,000; Commissioner William Hochman, $1,000; Judge Kelly Simmons, $500; Judge Andrew Sweet, $500; and Judge Terrence Boren, $250.