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.