Police department misconduct allegations and disciplinary proceedings

Beryl Lipton filed this request with the Hornell City Police Department of Hornell, NY.

It is a clone of this request.

Status
Rejected

Communications

From: Beryl Lipton

To Whom It May Concern:

Pursuant to the New York Freedom of Information Law, I hereby request the following records:

All materials and records describing and sufficient to show/disclose all allegations of misconduct made and all disciplinary proceedings taken against any officer, employee, or representative of this policing agency.

As described in the New York Freedom of Information Law, a record is "any information kept, held, filed, produced or reproduced by, with or for an agency or the state legislature, in any physical form whatsoever including, but not limited to, reports, statements, examinations, memoranda, opinions, folders, files, books, manuals, pamphlets, forms, papers, designs, drawings, maps, photos, letters, microfilms, computer tapes or discs, rules, regulations or codes." Records kept in a digital or electronic form are also records, would be responsive to this request, and should be provided.

These records are typically required to be retained under the New York State Records Retention and Disposition Schedule MU-1 (http://www.archives.nysed.gov/records/retention_mu-1), including, but not limited to, item no. 365, which includes: "Investigative records and disciplinary proceedings, including but not limited to statement of charge, transcript of hearing, notice of decision, letter of termination or resignation, letter of reinstatement, record of appeal procedure, and correspondence." While materials under that schedule have a set retention of 3 years after the final decision rendered, this request and materials responsive to it include *all* records held in the possession of any office or individual employed or formerly employed by this policing agency, including those kept off-site, in digital form, and in personnel files.

Please note that any failure to provide all potentially-responsive materials and/or the destruction of materials potentially responsive to this request would be a violation of the spirit of the New York Freedom of Information Law, as well as unlawful under the New York FOIL and the terms of the attached litigation hold notice.

Materials responsive to this request include — but are not limited to — all complaints, reports, records of discipline and penalties, aggregate collections of complaint and disciplinary materials (spreadsheets, databases), investigatory materials, relevant related correspondence, photographs, video, other related evidence, proof of discipline or fulfillment of penalties, and all personnel materials (including those used in promotion, contract, and other employment negotiations and considerations) that reference or utilize misconduct allegations or disciplinary materials of any sort.

Materials responsive to this request include all complaints— internal, external, and civilian — and include records disclosing the names, badge numbers, and personnel identification of each officer involved and/or serving as a witness, as well as all available details of the incident/complaint: date, time, location, nature of the incident, description of the incident, nature of the investigation, investigatory materials, the disposition of the case, and any subsequent materials related to the execution of any resultant discipline. Responsive materials include all complaints and allegations against any officer, employee, or representative of this policing agency, regardless of whether that complaint or allegation resulted in any investigation or disciplinary action.

Responsive materials also include all records of use of force by officers, including records disclosing the names, badge numbers, and personnel identification of each officer involved and/or serving as a witness, as well as all available details of the incident: date, time, location, nature of the incident, description of the incident, nature of the use of force, subsequent investigatory materials related to the use of force, the disposition of any investigation into the incident, and any subsequent materials related to the use of force.

Please provide materials on a rolling basis, beginning with materials created during the following timeframes:
• January 1, 2010 - June 15, 2020
• January 1, 2000 - January 1, 2010
• January 1, 1990 - January 1, 2000
• January 1, 1980 - January 1, 1990
• January 1, 1970 - January 1, 1980

Pursuant to NYCRR Section 1401.5(c)(1), should any of this request be unclear or lack sufficient description for your office, please provide direction that would enable this requester to request records reasonably described. Please also note that the New York FOIL states: "An agency shall not deny a request on the basis that the request is voluminous or that locating or reviewing the requested records or providing the requested copies is burdensome because the agency lacks sufficient staffing or on any other basis if the agency may engage an outside professional service to provide copying, programming or other services required to provide the copy...." Please also see FOIL AO 19671, an Advisory Opinion from the Committee on Open Government [https://docs.dos.ny.gov/coog/ftext/f19671.htm].

If your office has questions about this request or would like to discuss it for any reason, please contact this requester via the contact email address provided and feel free to follow up by phone: 617-299-1832. This request is being submitted to each policing agency in New York as part of a collaborative project led by MuckRock and involving multiple other educational and journalistic partners and participants. For this reason, over the lifetime of this request, your agency may interface with individuals not listed on this initial communication.

This request is being made in the public interest by a news organization as part of non-profit (not commercial) journalistic work and research on behalf of the public. In the event that there are fees, I would be grateful if you would inform me of the total charges in advance of fulfilling my request and as part of the necessary negotiations for successful processing. As far as it is possible, please fulfill elements of this request 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 5 business days, as the statute requires.

Sincerely,

Beryl Lipton

  • MuckRock_Litigation_Hold_-_Template20-202020-06-17T143711.437.pdf

From: Sabrina

Hornell City Police Department
110 Broadway,
Hornell, NY 14843

September 10, 2020.

Dear Mayor Buckley,

This summer the Hornell City Police Department was sent a request for records filed under New York’s open records law (FOIL). Additionally, there have been six follow ups requests for the information. To date, Hornell City has been unresponsive, in direct conflict with state law. As you know, government agencies that do not respond may be subject to fines and/or court fees for failure to comply with a lawful request.

Under the possibility that the original request and follow ups were misdirected, we are repeating the request and broadening the recipients. Please respond within five days as the law allows:

All materials and records describing and sufficient to show/disclose all allegations of misconduct made and all disciplinary proceedings taken against any officer, employee, or representative of this policing agency.
As described in the New York Freedom of Information Law, a record is "any information kept, held, filed, produced or reproduced by, with or for an agency or the state legislature, in any physical form whatsoever including, but not limited to, reports, statements, examinations, memoranda, opinions, folders, files, books, manuals, pamphlets, forms, papers, designs, drawings, maps, photos, letters, microfilms, computer tapes or discs, rules, regulations or codes." Records kept in a digital or electronic form are also records, would be responsive to this request, and should be provided.
These records are typically required to be retained under the New York State Records Retention and Disposition Schedule MU-1 (http://www.archives.nysed.gov/records/retention_mu-1), including, but not limited to, item no. 365, which includes: "Investigative records and disciplinary proceedings, including but not limited to statement of charge, transcript of hearing, notice of decision, letter of termination or resignation, letter of reinstatement, record of appeal procedure, and correspondence." While materials under that schedule have a set retention of 3 years after the final decision rendered, this request and materials responsive to it include *all* records held in the possession of any office or individual employed or formerly employed by this policing agency, including those kept off-site, in digital form, and in personnel files.
Please note that any failure to provide all potentially-responsive materials and/or the destruction of materials potentially responsive to this request would be a violation of the spirit of the New York Freedom of Information Law, as well as unlawful under the New York FOIL and the terms of the attached litigation hold notice.
Materials responsive to this request include — but are not limited to — all complaints, reports, records of discipline and penalties, aggregate collections of complaint and disciplinary materials (spreadsheets, databases), investigatory materials, relevant related correspondence, photographs, video, other related evidence, proof of discipline or fulfillment of penalties, and all personnel materials (including those used in promotion, contract, and other employment negotiations and considerations) that reference or utilize misconduct allegations or disciplinary materials of any sort.
Materials responsive to this request include all complaints— internal, external, and civilian — and include records disclosing the names, badge numbers, and personnel identification of each officer involved and/or serving as a witness, as well as all available details of the incident/complaint: date, time, location, nature of the incident, description of the incident, nature of the investigation, investigatory materials, the disposition of the case, and any subsequent materials related to the execution of any resultant discipline. Responsive materials include all complaints and allegations against any officer, employee, or representative of this policing agency, regardless of whether that complaint or allegation resulted in any investigation or disciplinary action.
Responsive materials also include all records of use of force by officers, including records disclosing the names, badge numbers, and personnel identification of each officer involved and/or serving as a witness, as well as all available details of the incident: date, time, location, nature of the incident, description of the incident, nature of the use of force, subsequent investigatory materials related to the use of force, the disposition of any investigation into the incident, and any subsequent materials related to the use of force.
Please provide materials on a rolling basis, beginning with materials created during the following timeframes:
• January 1, 2010 - June 15, 2020
• January 1, 2000 - January 1, 2010
• January 1, 1990 - January 1, 2000
• January 1, 1980 - January 1, 1990
• January 1, 1970 - January 1, 1980
Pursuant to NYCRR Section 1401.5(c)(1), should any of this request be unclear or lack sufficient description for your office, please provide direction that would enable this requester to request records reasonably described. Please also note that the New York FOIL states: "An agency shall not deny a request on the basis that the request is voluminous or that locating or reviewing the requested records or providing the requested copies is burdensome because the agency lacks sufficient staffing or on any other basis if the agency may engage an outside professional service to provide copying, programming or other services required to provide the copy...." Please also see FOIL AO 19671, an Advisory Opinion from the Committee on Open Government [https://docs.dos.ny.gov/coog/ftext/f19671.htm].
If your office has questions about this request or would like to discuss it for any reason, please contact this requester via the contact email address provided and feel free to follow up by phone: 617-299-1832. This request is being submitted to each policing agency in New York as part of a collaborative project led by MuckRock and involving multiple other educational and journalistic partners and participants. For this reason, over the lifetime of this request, your agency may interface with individuals not listed on this initial communication.
This request is being made in the public interest by a news organization as part of non-profit (not commercial) journalistic work and research on behalf of the public. In the event that there are fees, I would be grateful if you would inform me of the total charges in advance of fulfilling my request and as part of the necessary negotiations for successful processing. As far as it is possible, please fulfill elements of this request electronically, by e-mail attachment if available or CD-ROM if not.
Thank you in advance for your anticipated cooperation in this matter.

This request was initially submitted as part of a collaborative academic and journalistic research project conducted in the public interest. As part of this collaboration, multiple individuals may contact you from a number of partner organizations, including but not limited to MuckRock and Syracuse University, and other partner organizations may respond or request clarification regarding this request. It would be appreciated if all messages coming from the MuckRock address associated with this request be honored as a proper communication in our correspondence on this request.

Regards,

Sabrina Lebrón in collaboration with MuckRock, Syracuse University, and additional newsroom partners

From: Hornell City Police Department

Good morning,

We are in receipt of your records request. We are reviewing the requested
information and will get back to you soon. In the future, please direct all
FOIL requests to the City Clerk.

Thank you,

Missy

Melissa Logan

City Clerk
City of Hornell
82 Main Street, Po Box 627
Hornell, NY 14843

Phone (607) 324-7421

FAX (607) 324-3150

_____

From: Hornell City Police Department

Hello,

We are still in the process of reviewing the requested information. We will
get back to you soon.

Thank you,

Missy

Melissa Logan

City Clerk
City of Hornell
82 Main Street, Po Box 627
Hornell, NY 14843

Phone (607) 324-7421

FAX (607) 324-3150

From: Hornell City Police Department

The request has been rejected by the agency.

From: Hornell City Police Department

Good morning,

The City Attorney sent out a letter to you dated October 6, 2020. I am writing to see if you have received that letter?

Thank you,

Missy

Melissa Logan

City Clerk
City of Hornell
82 Main Street, Po Box 627
Hornell, NY 14843

Phone (607) 324-7421

FAX (607) 324-3150

From: Beryl Lipton

Hello Ms. Logan —

Thank you for your earlier letter, and I apologize for the delay in my response.

Please find below an updated version of my previously-submitted Freedom of Information Law request. Please process this letter as a new FOIL request. This version provides additional specificity about the requested information. This request is being made as part of a statewide survey for reporting purposes, and I'm happy to discuss any concerns or questions you may have. I understand if not all responsive records are available for the entire timespan of the request. Please let me know if I should call about this request.

Thank you so much for your time and help.

Best wishes,
Beryl

_____________

To Whom It May Concern:

Pursuant to the New York Freedom of Information Law, I hereby request the following records:

All materials and records describing and sufficient to show/disclose all law enforcement disciplinary records, including materials on allegations of misconduct made and all disciplinary proceedings taken against any law enforcement officer currently or formerly in the employ of this policing agency.

For a more specific definition of the term “law enforcement disciplinary record,” please see Section 86 of the New York Public Officers Law. For a more specific definition of the term “law enforcement officer,” please refer to the definitions of peace officer found in subdivisions twenty-three and twenty-three-a of section 2.10 of the criminal procedure law and subdivision twenty-four of section 2.10 of the criminal procedure law, as well as the definition of police officer found in section 1.20 of the criminal procedure law.

As described in the New York Freedom of Information Law, a record is:
"any information kept, held, filed, produced or reproduced by, with or for an agency or the state legislature, in any physical form whatsoever including, but not limited to, reports, statements, examinations, memoranda, opinions, folders, files, books, manuals, pamphlets, forms, papers, designs, drawings, maps, photos, letters, microfilms, computer tapes or discs, rules, regulations or codes."
Records kept in a digital or electronic form are also records, would be responsive to this request, and should be provided.

The request records are typically required to be retained, in part, under the New York State Records Retention and Disposition Schedule MU-1 (http://www.archives.nysed.gov/records/retention_mu-1), including, but not limited to, item no. 365, which includes:
"Investigative records and disciplinary proceedings, including but not limited to statement of charge, transcript of hearing, notice of decision, letter of termination or resignation, letter of reinstatement, record of appeal procedure, and correspondence."
While materials under that schedule have a set retention of 3 years after the final decision rendered, this request and materials responsive to it include *all* records held in the possession of any office or individual employed or formerly employed by this policing agency, including those kept off-site, in digital form, and in personnel files.

Please note that any failure to provide all potentially-responsive materials and/or the destruction of materials potentially responsive to this request would be a violation of the spirit of the New York Freedom of Information Law, as well as unlawful under the New York FOIL and the terms of the previously-submitted litigation hold notice.

Materials responsive to this request include — but are not limited to — all complaints, reports, records of discipline and penalties, aggregate collections of complaint and disciplinary materials (spreadsheets, databases), investigatory materials, relevant related correspondence, photographs, video, other related evidence, proof of discipline or fulfillment of penalties, and all personnel materials (including those used in promotion, contract, and other employment negotiations and considerations) for which the misconduct allegations or disciplinary materials are relevant.

Materials responsive to this request include all complaints— internal, external, and civilian — and include records disclosing the names, badge numbers, and personnel identification of each officer involved and/or serving as a witness, as well as all available details of the incident/complaint: date, time, location, nature of the incident, description of the incident, nature of the investigation, investigatory materials, the disposition of the case, and any subsequent materials related to the execution of any resultant discipline. Responsive materials include all complaints and allegations against any officer, employee, or representative of this policing agency, regardless of whether that complaint or allegation resulted in any investigation or disciplinary action.

Responsive materials also include all records of use of force by officers, including records disclosing the names, badge numbers, and personnel identification of each officer involved and/or serving as a witness, as well as all available details of the incident: date, time, location, nature of the incident, description of the incident, nature of the use of force, subsequent investigatory materials related to the use of force, the disposition of any investigation into the incident, and any subsequent materials related to the use of force.

Please provide materials on a rolling basis, beginning with materials created during the following timeframes:
• January 1, 2010 - November 30, 2020
• January 1, 2000 - January 1, 2010
• January 1, 1990 - January 1, 2000
• January 1, 1980 - January 1, 1990
• January 1, 1970 - January 1, 1980

If materials are not available for the requested timeframes, please let me know for which periods they are available. We understand that not all recordkeeping systems facilitate convenient access to some materials.

Pursuant to NYCRR Section 1401.5(c)(1), should any of this request be unclear or lack sufficient description for your office, please provide direction that would enable this requester to request records reasonably described. Please also note that the New York FOIL states:
"An agency shall not deny a request on the basis that the request is voluminous or that locating or reviewing the requested records or providing the requested copies is burdensome because the agency lacks sufficient staffing or on any other basis if the agency may engage an outside professional service to provide copying, programming or other services required to provide the copy...."
Please also see FOIL AO 19671, an Advisory Opinion from the Committee on Open Government [https://docs.dos.ny.gov/coog/ftext/f19671.htm].

If your office has questions about this request or would like to discuss it for any reason, please contact this requester via the contact email address provided and feel free to follow up by phone: 617-299-1832.

This request is being submitted to each policing agency in New York as part of a collaborative project led by MuckRock and involving multiple other educational and journalistic partners and participants. For this reason, over the lifetime of this request, your agency may interface with individuals not listed on this initial communication.

This request is being made in the public interest by a news organization as part of non-profit (not commercial) journalistic work and research on behalf of the public. In the event that there are fees, I would be grateful if you would inform me of the total charges in advance of fulfilling my request and as part of the necessary negotiations for successful processing.

As far as it is possible, please fulfill elements of this request 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 5 business days, as the statute requires.

Sincerely,

Beryl Lipton

From: Hornell City Police Department

Good afternoon Beryl,

I am in receipt of your request and we are reviewing the information. I will be in contact soon.

Thank you,

Missy

Melissa Logan

City Clerk
City of Hornell
82 Main Street, Po Box 627
Hornell, NY 14843

Phone (607) 324-7421

FAX (607) 324-3150

From: Hornell City Police Department

Hello, again, Beryl,

I have spoken to the Chief of Police and given the volume of records we must search in order to comply, we will provide you the available materials by April 1, 2021. Once we have compiled the available, requested documents, our office will inform you of the cost you will incur as is allowable under FOIL.

Thank you,

Missy

Melissa Logan

City Clerk
City of Hornell
82 Main Street, Po Box 627
Hornell, NY 14843

Phone (607) 324-7421

FAX (607) 324-3150

From: Hornell City Police Department

According to my email below, dated December 11, I informed you:

“I have spoken to the Chief of Police and given the volume of records we must search in order to comply, we will provide you the available materials by April 1, 2021.”

Please let me know if you have any other questions.

Thank you,

Missy

Melissa Logan

City Clerk
City of Hornell
82 Main Street, Po Box 627
Hornell, NY 14843

Phone (607) 324-7421

FAX (607) 324-3150

From: Hornell City Police Department

We are getting close to being finished. We will need another two weeks.

Thank you,

Missy

Melissa Logan

City Clerk
City of Hornell
82 Main Street, Po Box 627
Hornell, NY 14843

Phone (607) 324-7421

FAX (607) 324-3150

From: Hornell City Police Department

I just got off the phone with the police chief and they need a little more time. Perhaps one more week, but hopefully sooner.

Thank you,

Missy

Melissa Logan

City Clerk
City of Hornell
82 Main Street, Po Box 627
Hornell, NY 14843

Phone (607) 324-7421

FAX (607) 324-3150

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From: Hornell City Police Department

Good afternoon,

I have attached a letter requesting payment for your FOIL request.

Thank you,

Missy

Melissa Logan

City Clerk
City of Hornell
82 Main Street, Po Box 627
Hornell, NY 14843

Phone (607) 324-7421

FAX (607) 324-3150

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From: Hornell City Police Department

Good morning,

As of today, May 17, 2021, we have not received payment for your FOIL request.

We anticipate receiving your payment prior to June 1, 2021. If we do not receive payment, your request will be deemed abandoned and denied.

Thank you,

Missy

Melissa Logan

City Clerk
City of Hornell
82 Main Street, Po Box 627
Hornell, NY 14843

Phone (607) 324-7421

FAX (607) 324-3150

This email has been checked for viruses by Avast antivirus software.

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This communication (including any attachments) may contain confidential and/or privileged information. Unless you are the intended recipient, any distribution, use, copying, forwarding, printing or disclosure of this email message and any information included in any file attachments is strictly prohibited. If you have received this email in error, please notify the sender by reply and delete the original message.

From: Hornell City Police Department

Good morning,

As we have not received payment for your FOIL request, we are deeming your request abandoned and denied.

Thank you,

Missy

Melissa Logan

City Clerk
City of Hornell
82 Main Street, Po Box 627
Hornell, NY 14843

Phone (607) 324-7421

FAX (607) 324-3150

This email has been checked for viruses by Avast antivirus software.

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This communication (including any attachments) may contain confidential and/or privileged information. Unless you are the intended recipient, any distribution, use, copying, forwarding, printing or disclosure of this email message and any information included in any file attachments is strictly prohibited. If you have received this email in error, please notify the sender by reply and delete the original message.

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