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Thursday, November 29, 2012

E-mails between a public employer and an applicant for public employment may be subject to disclosure pursuant to the Freedom of Information Law


E-mails between a public employer and an applicant for public employment may be subject to disclosure pursuant to the Freedom of Information Law
Hernandez v Office of the Mayor of the City of New York, 2012 NY Slip Op 08067, Appellate Division, First Department

Sergio Hernandez filed an Article 78 petition seeking a court order annulling the determination of the Office of the Mayor of the City of New York denying his requests under the Freedom of Information Law (FOIL) for certain e-mails sent from or “received by any government email accounts assigned to the Office of the Mayor to or from Cathleen Black, at the time she was a nominee for the position of New York City School Chancellor” and certain other records.

Supreme Court directed the City to produce redacted copies of such e-mails, which as the Appellate Division subsequently noted, were not exempt from disclosure as inter- or intra-agency materials within the meaning of Public Officers Law §89[2][g].

The City appealed the court’s order.

The Appellate Division sustained the lower court’s ruling, explaining that Black was not an agent of the City since she had not yet been retained as Chancellor. In addition, said the court, Black was not acting simply as an outside consultant on behalf of the City, but was a private citizen with interests that may have diverged from those of the City.

The decision is posted on the Internet at:
http://www.courts.state.ny.us/reporter/3dseries/2012/2012_08067.htm


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