Monday, August 30, 2010

CJR Uses FOIL to Get G-O-V Emails

David PattersonImage by ianqui via FlickrApproximately 2,000 emails among the news media, former NY Gov. David Patterson's press flack Peter Kaufmann,  and deputy press secretary Melissa Shorenstein are the target of a lawsuit filed by Columbia Journalism Review under New York's Freedom of Information Law ("FOIL") [Pub. Off. Law Sec. 87 et seq.].

CJR reporter Clint Hendler (Disclosure: "TUOL"'s co-panelist on a discussion of anonymous bloggers on N.H. Public Radio's The Exchange 11/17/09, originally sought the government emails following the "integrity"-based resignations of Kaufmann and Shorenstein in March 2009, concerning allegations that gubernatorial aide David Johnson was involved in a domestic violence incident. The governor's office has refused to produce the electronic correspondence, citing the reporter's privilege of NY's shield law[Civil Rights Law Art. 7, Sec. 79-h(a)(6)] and the presence of commercially sensitive information as the basis for withholding the emails.

A NY law firm is representing CJR pro bono.
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