FOILed Again: Funny You Should Ask…
by Geoff Kelly - posted 1:35 pm, April 26, 2008
Day 1 of my FOIL watch was a bust: Friday flew by with nary a word from Peter Cutler, director of communications for Mayor Byron Brown. I filed a request with Cutler Thursday evening under New York’s Freedom of Information Law for all budget and expenditure records for the Mayor’s Impact Team since January 1, 2006. By law he’s got five business days just to acknowledge my email request, then a month to fulfill it or explain why he won’t.
Of course, Cutler must have had a busy day on Friday, what with TV crews taping Mayor’s Impact Team head Bill Buyers and two of his crew working in Buyers’ yard on city time, yielding a followup story in the Buffalo News. Who knew my request would be so timely?
Buyers and his two underlings received 15-day suspensions for the offense, because, according to Cutler, it was a first offense. I’m betting here that a careful audit of the Mayor’s Impact Team, which begins with Cutler acknowledging and fulfilling my FOIL request, will suggest it was not the first time the Mayor’s Impact Team used city time and city-purchased materials for private benefit.
Day 2 of my FOIL watch begins Monday morning.