Police department misconduct allegations and disciplinary proceedings

Beryl Lipton filed this request with the Le Roy Village Police Department of Le Roy, NY.
Status
Completed

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

From:

Attached, please find our response to your FOIL request.

Best regards,
Eileen Carmel
Deputy Clerk
Village of LeRoy
3 West Main St.
LeRoy, NY 14482
Ph: (585) 768-2527 Ext 2225 | Fax: (585) 768-8037
ecarmel@villageofleroy.org<mailto:ecarmel@villageofleroy.org>

From: Le Roy Village Police Department

Dear MuckRock News:

After consideration, the Village of LeRoy has determined that the requested documents will be provided to you. However, time is required due to the following:

* The requested records are all in paper format and require hand-searching.
* Determination of and hand-redaction of any personal, medical, etc. information.
* Scanning of records into digital format.

On or before July 31st, an amount for the cost of this project, based on the number of pages and in accordance with the Freedom of Information Law, will be communicated to you. It is our normal procedure to require payment before we release records. After payment is received, the documents will be provided to you. Please be advised, we can only process checks or money orders.

If you have any questions, please contact me.

Best regards,
Eileen Carmel
Deputy Clerk
Village of LeRoy
3 West Main St.
LeRoy, NY 14482
PH: 585-768-2527 ext. 2225 | ecarmel@villageofleroy.org<mailto:ecarmel@villageofleroy.org>

From: Le Roy Village Police Department

To Whom It May Concern,

This is in response to your follow up email regarding the FOIL request for police disciplinary records.

On Wednesday July 22, 2020 Federal Judge, Katherine Polk Failla, issued a temporary restraining order barring police departments and other entities in New York State from disclosing disciplinary records until at least August 18, 2020.

Until such time as that order is lifted and/or further guidance is received from the Court we are prohibited from providing the records indicated in your request.

Best regards,
Eileen Carmel
Deputy Clerk
Village of LeRoy
3 West Main St.
LeRoy, NY 14482
Ph: (585) 768-2527 Ext 2225 | Fax: (585) 768-8037
ecarmel@villageofleroy.org<mailto:ecarmel@villageofleroy.org>

From: Le Roy Village Police Department

Recently, some misfiled and mislabeled personnel files were found in file storage at the Village Hall. As a result, I’ll need more time to hand-search these paper records and evaluate whether the contents include information responsive to this FOIL request. I’ll inform you if that is the case.

However, I’ll now release the documents that have already been prepared. This will require two emails.

Best regards,

Eileen Carmel
Deputy Clerk
Village of LeRoy
3 West Main St.
LeRoy, NY 14482
Ph: (585) 768-2527 Ext 2225 | Fax: (585) 768-8037
ecarmel@villageofleroy.org<mailto:ecarmel@villageofleroy.org>

From: Le Roy Village Police Department

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