An appellate court ruled today that the Bloomberg administration must release the contents of redacted emails between the mayor's office and former New York City Schools Chancellor Cathie Black. The City had appealed a decision by the New York State Supreme Court a year ago that ordered the release of the emails. A Law Department spokesperson claimed at the time that the emails were exempt from FOIL, but today's ruling notes that they would not be covered under the inter or intra-governmental employee exemption because they were exchanged when Black "was a private citizen with interests that may have diverged from those of the city."
The emails, covering the span of time leading up to Black's appointment, were requested under FOIL by former Village Voice reporter Sergio Hernandez over two years ago, with the assistance of attorney Elizabeth Wolstein, who initially worked for the Media Freedom and Information Access Clinic at Yale and now practices at Schlam Stone & Dolan LLP.
The City has 15 days to turn over the emails, but an attorney for the City, Susan Paulson, told the Wall Street Journal they plan on asking the court for its permission to appeal, which may spur another FOIL request to find out just how much the city is spending to block the release of these emails.
You can read the appellate court's order below.