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November 19, 2018

Cofsky v Sinnott


Freedom of information
McCray v Lennon, NYS Supreme Court

Louis McCray, currently serving twenty years to life at Green Haven Correctional Facility, filed a Freedom of Information [FOIL] request seeking agency records that would identify the employment status, titles, and date of termination of a certain employee of a police department. When the Department refused to provide the information on the grounds that McCray had not properly identify the information he was seeking, McCray sued.

Citing Bahlman v Brier, 119 Misc2d 110, the Court ruled that the disclosure of such employee information would be an invasion of privacy within the meaning of §87.2 of the Public Officers Law and dismissed McCray complaint.

The Court said that there was a need to balance the public's right to know with the right of innocent individuals to be protected from unwarranted intrusions in their personal lives. Accordingly, the Court concluded, the Department's refusal to release information demanded, even if the request had been properly made, was appropriate because of the nature of the requested information.


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New York Public Personnel Law Blog Editor Harvey Randall served as Principal Attorney, New York State Department of Civil Service; Director of Personnel, SUNY Central Administration; Director of Research, Governor’s Office of Employee Relations; and Staff Judge Advocate General, New York Guard. Consistent with the Declaration of Principles jointly adopted by a Committee of the American Bar Association and a Committee of Publishers and Associations, the material posted to this blog is presented with the understanding that neither the publisher nor NYPPL and, or, its staff and contributors are providing legal advice to the reader and in the event legal or other expert assistance is needed, the reader is urged to seek such advice from a knowledgeable professional.
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