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Attorneys to discuss government transparency in Rancho Mirage

RANCHO MIRAGE, Calif. - The city attorney for Rancho Mirage and Desert Hot Springs and a Riverside County deputy district attorney will give a presentation on the state's open meetings law tomorrow.

Attorney Steve Quintanilla and county Chief Deputy District Attorney Vicki Hightower will discuss "Transparency and Open Government" during a 1 p.m. public meeting Tuesday in the Rancho Mirage's council chamber at 69825 Highway 111.

The Ralph M. Brown Act, passed in 1953, mandates that most government meetings are open "to allow the public a reasonable and meaningful opportunity to be involved with the decision-making process of its elected and appointed officials who are entrusted to protect and promote the public's interest and taxpayers dollars," Quintanilla said.

Quintanilla, also a deputy city attorney in Cathedral City and general counsel for several local organizations, earned his law degree and a master's in urban planning from UCLA.

Hightower has been a prosecutor for 18 years and oversees operations for three of the District Attorney's special prosecution sections, which include fraud, environmental and consumer protection, professional standards, tribal gaming and grand theft auto. Her law degree is from UCLA.

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