Concussion Inc. to Judge: Court Sanctions May Be Required to Stop University of California’s Stonewall Tactics in Ted Agu Football Death Public Records Case

Flashback: Editor Who Is Being Brought in to Dismantle the New York Daily News Comes From Tronc’s Bullpen in Allentown
July 24, 2018
Full Text of Our Reply Brief on University of California’s Arrogant Refusal to Produce a Substantive Legal Response in Public Records Act Litigation Over Ted Agu Football Death Cover-Up Documents
July 24, 2018

by Irvin Muchnick


Concussion Inc. has told an Alameda County Superior Court judge that the University of California’s delaying tactics in our California Public Records Act (CPRA) case for internal files on the 2014 death of football player Ted Agu have become so abusive that court sanctions might soon be in order.

In a brief filed today, we also demanded immediate release of a 141-page campus police report on Agu’s death, whose existence the university only recently acknowledged in our case despite the fact that it was front and center in a wrongful death lawsuit by the family, which UC settled for $4.75 million in 2016.

“Depending on Respondent’s imminent actions, Petitioner reserves the right to seek further remedies, including sanctions, for Respondent’s contempt of the Court’s procedures,” attorney Roy S. Gordet wrote in a reply brief for a motion on privacy issues, which Judge Brand had invited last month in an effort to accelerate resolution of CPRA case. The lawsuit was filed in April 2017.

What brought the case to this heated pass was UC’s refusal to lodge a substantive response to our motion. Instead, the university’s lawyers unilaterally asserted that the motion was “premature” and had been tacitly “rescinded” by an unrelated court order — which, coincidentally, was issued on June 11, the same day our motion was filed. Before making this assertion, UC had not sought clarification from the court. Again at the invitation of Judge Jeffrey S. Brand, our motion had included a demand for release of the police report, among other documents that continue to be withheld on a variety of claims of privacy exemptions under CPRA.

Gordet states: “Respondent has intentionally and in bad faith refused to respond on the merits to Petitioner’s Motion…. [T]his is in keeping with Respondent’s tactics of feints, diversions, new theories, newly found documents, etc. as set forth in this Motion’s Memorandum.  Respondent’s delay in producing the 141-page report is prejudicing Petitioner in reporting on these events in a timely manner.”


NEXT: Complete texts and analysis of our privacy motion, UC’s response brief, and our reply brief — followed by the chronology of the university’s belated acknowledgment of the existence of the 141-page campus police report.



2017 op-ed article for the Daily Californian on my Public Records Act lawsuit:

Second op-ed article for the Daily Californian (published May 4):

“Explainer: How ‘Insider’ Access Made San Francisco Chronicle and Berkeley J-School Miss Real Story Behind Death of Cal Football’s Ted Agu,”

Complete headline links to our Ted Agu series:

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Concussion Inc. - Author Irvin Muchnick