Last week, State Supreme Court Justice Alice Schlesinger ordered the city to release email correspondence between Mayor Bloomberg's office and former Schools Chancellor Cathie Black shortly before she took office, because Black and her staff were "de facto agents of the city." The city had argued that the documents weren't subject to New York's FOIL, and would be an invasion of privacy if released. Schlesinger called this logic "particularly specious," and gave the city 15 days to turn the documents over. The city has decided to appeal the ruling. Connie Pankratz, the Law Department's deputy communications director, tells us, "We believe the emails are exempt from FOIL and are filing an appeal tomorrow."

Former Village Voice reporter Sergio Hernandez requested the documents under FOIL a year ago, and was denied twice. So he sued and until now, it appeared he had won. "I couldn't tell you what is in those emails," Hernandez says. "I'd like to say there's something interesting in them. Maybe there's something in there they really don't want to get out."

Hernandez, now a reporter for ProPublica, speculates that the city is taking a hard line to deter future efforts to obtain information it considers privileged. "Maybe the city sees this as some sort of precedent, that's why they're fighting it."