FOILed Again: Day 2
by Geoff Kelly - posted 10:59 am, April 28, 2008
This is the quickest response to a FOIL request Artvoice has ever received from the City of Buffalo. Less than two business days after I requested by email that the city give me all records related to the budget and expenditures of the Mayor’s Impact Team since January 1, 2006, Assistant Corporation Counsel Cavette Chambers has acknowledged receipt of my request:
Pursuant to Public Officers Law section 89(3), this correspondence will serve as an acknowledgment of your Freedom of Information Law request.
Please be advised that your request has been forwarded to the department of Administration and Finance, Public Works Parks & Streets, and the director of the Quality of Life Programs for a response. Each respective department will conduct a diligent search of its records to determine whether it is in possession of the requested records. Wherein sufficient time is needed to locate, compile, and review the requested records, please allow ten (10) business days from the date of this correspondence for a determination regarding your request.
Should you have any questions regarding the status of your request, you may contact the following individuals:
Donna Estrich with the Dept of Administration and Finance, Charles Masi with the Department of Public Works Parks & Streets, and/or Thomas Smith with Quality of Life Programs.
Cavette A. Chambers
Assistant Corporation Counsel
City of Buffalo Department of Law
65 Niagara Square
1113 City Hall
Buffalo, New York 14202
So the wheels are turning, and the city now has to determine whether such records exist (which, if they don’t, would be a inexcusable), and, assuming they do, to compile them and send them to me (which, if that isn’t half an hour’s work, suggests some pretty poor bookkeeping methods).
The day after I FOILed these documents, of course, Bill Buyers, the head of the Mayor’s Impact Team was caught by TV crews with two city laborers working on his own house on city time. Mayor Byron Brown suspended Buyers for 15 days without pay and removed him as the team’s supervisor, and suspended his subordinates for five days without pay…and now people are beginning to roll out their Bill Buyers stories: that he’s the guy who got Anthony Capozzi arrested for a rape and murder that he didn’t commit but for which he served 22 years in jail; that Buyers last got in trouble when neighbors complained he dragged his dog on a leash hanging out his truck window; that he foots the bill for big breakfasts for 200 people once a month at the VFW post on Amherst Street; that he is protected by strong political ties.
Plus there’s the rumor that led me to file my FOIL in the first place, before Buyers got busted using the Mayor’s Impact Team to spring-clean his own front yard. More on that soon, I hope.