|Submitted||March 27, 2015|
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To Whom It May Concern:
Pursuant to Delaware's Freedom of Information Act, I hereby request the following records:
For the time period of January 1, 2012 to the present date, copies of the following documents related to any informal or formal inquiry or investigation or inquiry conducted by the Department of Justice into any employee of the New Castle City Police Department: (1) any memorandum, reports, executive summaries, or other written document detailing the allegations, steps taken to investigate or review the allegations, and final disposition; (2) any written communications, including electronic mail (e-mail) received by the Department of Justice from any employee, administrator, council member or mayor of the City of New Castle related to the aforementioned; and (3) any written communications, including electronic mail (e-mail) sent by the Department of Justice to any employee, administrator, council member or mayor of the City of New Castle.
The requested documents will be made available to the general public free of charge as part of the public information service at MuckRock.com, and is not being made for commercial usage.
In the event that fees cannot be waived, I would be grateful if you would inform me of the total charges in advance of fulfilling my request. I would prefer the request filled electronically, by e-mail attachment if available or CD-ROM if not.
Thank you in advance for your anticipated cooperation in this matter. I look forward to receiving your response to this request within 15 business days, as the statute requires.
Attached please find Deputy Attorney General Black's letter in response to your Freedom of Information Act Request.
Janice Guevarez, M.S.
Administrative Specialist II
Department of Justice
820 N. French Street
Civil Division, 6th Floor
Wilmington, DE 19801
Phone: (302) 577-8910
Fax: (302) 577-6630
P Please consider the environment before printing this e-mail
Dear Mr. Black:
Please accept this as my appeal of your denial of my Freedom of Information Act Request (“FOIA”). Your denial letter references that all of the requested documents are exempt since they are part of the investigatory file and were compiled for criminal or civil law purposes. While I certainly agree that documents directly related to the investigation of such complaints would be exempt from public disclosure, not every communication would be related to the investigation.
Communications with public officials of the City of New Castle that details any allegations can be redacted so the complainant and the subject officers’ names are not identifiable. The public should be afforded the right to know if law enforcement officers in their community are accused of misconduct and what that allegation entails. Should this be a repeated pattern of conduct, how would the public know what to look for in order to file a complaint.
Communications with public officials of the City of New Castle at the conclusion of an investigation detailing the disposition are certainly not part of the investigation. These communications could not be of a critical importance to the case since the DOJ cannot control who else the public official disseminates the information to. The public’s right to know of the outcome of an investigation into misconduct of a law enforcement officer should outweigh the need to withhold the documents. The DOJ releases this type of information routinely. Examples are when the DOJ released the report regarding the preliminary investigative findings of the scandal at the Delaware Medical Examiner’s Office or the summary reports related to investigations of police officers use of deadly force.
While I certainly understand that the DOJ needs to withhold certain details regarding witnesses, statements, investigative activity, or investigative techniques from the public, there are certainly categories of documents related to the FOIA request, especially communications with public officials, that can be released. I ask that the DOJ reconsider its complete denial in favor of a partial denial and produce documents related to the request that do not impact the integrity of the investigation.
Dear Mr. Dworiak:
I am forwarding the attached letter on behalf of Danielle Gibbs, Chief Deputy Attorney General, the Delaware Department of Justice.
Executive Assistant to Chief Deputy Attorney General Danielle Gibbs
Executive Assistant to Chief of Staff Gregory Patterson
Executive Assistant to Deputy Chief of Staff Emily Cunningham
Delaware Department of Justice
820 N. French Street, 6th Floor
Wilmington, Delaware 19801
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