Superintendent William Taylor's Trip to Israel

Waqas Mirza filed this request with the Lowell Police Department of Lowell, MA.
Status
Completed

Communications

From: Waqas Mirza

To Whom It May Concern:

Pursuant to the Massachusetts Public Records Law, M.G.L. c.66, §10, I hereby request the following records:

A copy of all records related to Lowell Police Superintendent William Taylor's participation in a trip to Israel on January 24, 2016 sponsored by the Anti-Defamation League (ADL)

This includes, but is not restricted to, any applications submitted by the Superintendent related to the trip and all documents associated with said applications, any reports about the Superintendent's participation in the trip, any notes taken by the Superintendent during the trip, and any presentations made or e-mails sent by the Chief about the trip.

More information about the trip can be found here: http://www.masslive.com/politics/index.ssf/2016/01/massachusetts_law_enforcement.html.

I also request that, if appropriate, fees be waived as we believe this request is in the public interest, as suggested but not stipulated by the recommendations of the Massachusetts Supervisor of Public Records. The requested documents will be made available to the general public free of charge as part of the public information service at MuckRock.com, processed by a representative of the news media/press and is made in the process of news gathering and not for commercial usage.

I expect the request to be filled in an accessible format, including for screen readers, which provide text-to-speech for persons unable to read print. Files that are not accessible to screen readers include, for example, .pdf image files as well as physical documents.

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. 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 10 calendar days, as the statute requires.

Sincerely,

Waqas Mirza

From: Wellock, James

Dear Waqas Mirza:

In your public records request, you requested "A copy of all records related to Lowell Police Superintendent William Taylor's participation in a trip to Israel on January 24, 2016 sponsored by the Anti-Defamation League (ADL)." You then went on to modify your request: "any applications submitted by the Superintendent related to the trip and all documents associated with said applications, any reports about the Superintendent's participation in the trip, any notes taken by the Superintendent during the trip, and any presentations made or e-mails sent by the Chief about the trip."

As this request is rather non-specific, this office interprets your request as pertaining to the Lowell Police Department Superintendent William Taylor's participation in the ADL NEW ENGLAND COUNTER-TERRORISM SEMINAR (NECTS) IN ISRAEL; and further, this office has interpreted your request as a request for all emails the Superintendent sent regarding this trip, the Superintendent's written request to the City Manager for travel, the City Council Approval (Meeting Agenda and Minutes and related documents); and the Conflict of Interest Disclosure filed with the City Clerk. See 950 CMR 32.05(4) ("A custodian's superior knowledge of the contents of a governmental entity's files shall be used to assist in promptly complying with the request."). These documents are attached.
Your request further asks that the documents be provided in an "accessible format, including for screen readers, which would require text-to-speech for persons unable to read print." As you know, however, a records custodian is only obliged to provide access to existing files. A records custodian is not required to create new documents or to provide documents in new formats. See G. L. c. 4, § 7(26) (defining "public records" as materials which have already been "made or received" by a public entity); see also 32 Op. Att'y Gen. 157, 165 (May 18, 1977) (custodian is not obliged to create a record in response to a request for information; the Public Records Law and Regulations only apply to existing records). Documents will be provided in the format in which they exist.

Please note that you may appeal this response by petition to the Supervisor of Public Records at the following address:
Public Records Division
Secretary of the Commonwealth
One Ashburton Place, Room 1719
Boston, MA 02108

Please call or email if you have any questions or if I can be of further assistance.
James F. Wellock | Assistant City Solicitor
City of Lowell - Law Department
City Hall, 375 Merrimack Street, 3rd Floor | Lowell, MA 01852-5909
Tel: 978.674.4050 | Fax: 978.453.1510 | http://www.lowellma.gov<http://www.lowellma.gov/>
This message and the documents attached to it, if any, are intended only for the use of the addressee and may contain information that is PRIVILEGED and CONFIDENTIAL and/or may contain ATTORNEY WORK PRODUCT. If you are not the intended recipient, you are hereby notified that any dissemination of this communication is strictly prohibited. If you have received this communication in error, please delete all electronic copies of this message and its attachments, if any, and destroy any hard copies that you may have created and notify the Sender via email or telephone.
LOWELL Alive. Unique. Inspiring.

From: Waqas Mirza

Hello James,

Thank you so much for your help with this request. I really appreciate you getting back to me so quickly with the documents. There are two things mentioned in the e-mails that I am also interested in: the itinerary of the trip and "a packet of background materials and recent articles on current Israeli issues" that was sent to Superintendent Taylor. Would you mind sending those as well?

Thank you once again,

Waqas Mirza.

From: Wellock, James

Waqas Mirza,

I will get back to you on those two documents.

Could you remove the ZIP file of emails previously sent and replace them with the attached PDF versions of the emails? In looking at the emails I saw that there was a cell phone number exchange, which needed to be deleted pursuant to Exemption C. G. L. c. 4, § 7(26)(c); and Exemption O G. L. c. 4, § 7(26)(o).

Thanks,
James F. Wellock | Assistant City Solicitor
City of Lowell - Law Department
City Hall, 375 Merrimack Street, 3rd Floor | Lowell, MA 01852-5909
Tel: 978.674.4050 | Fax: 978.453.1510 | http://www.lowellma.gov<http://www.lowellma.gov/>
This message and the documents attached to it, if any, are intended only for the use of the addressee and may contain information that is PRIVILEGED and CONFIDENTIAL and/or may contain ATTORNEY WORK PRODUCT. If you are not the intended recipient, you are hereby notified that any dissemination of this communication is strictly prohibited. If you have received this communication in error, please delete all electronic copies of this message and its attachments, if any, and destroy any hard copies that you may have created and notify the Sender via email or telephone.
LOWELL Alive. Unique. Inspiring.

From: Waqas Mirza

Hello James,

I will request to have the ZIP files removed. Please keep me updated about the two documents.

Thank you,

Waqas.

From: Wellock, James

Thanks, Waqas.

From: Wellock, James

Dear Waqas:

Supt. Taylor has searched and no longer has the two documents you requested.

Kind regards,

James F. Wellock | Assistant City Solicitor
City of Lowell - Law Department
City Hall, 375 Merrimack Street, 3rd Floor | Lowell, MA 01852-5909
Tel: 978.674.4050  | Fax: 978.453.1510 | http://www.lowellma.gov
This message and the documents attached to it, if any, are intended only for the use of the addressee and may contain information that is PRIVILEGED and CONFIDENTIAL and/or may contain ATTORNEY WORK PRODUCT. If you are not the intended recipient, you are hereby notified that any dissemination of this communication is strictly prohibited. If you have received this communication in error, please delete all electronic copies of this message and its attachments, if any, and destroy any hard copies that you may have created and notify the Sender via email or telephone.
LOWELL  Alive. Unique. Inspiring.

---

On June 22, 2016:
Hello James,

Thank you so much for your help with this request. I really appreciate you getting back to me so quickly with the documents. There are two things mentioned in the e-mails that I am also interested in: the itinerary of the trip and "a packet of background materials and recent articles on current Israeli issues" that was sent to Superintendent Taylor. Would you mind sending those as well?

Thank you once again,

Waqas Mirza.

---

On June 22, 2016:
Dear Waqas Mirza:

In your public records request, you requested "A copy of all records related to Lowell Police Superintendent William Taylor's participation in a trip to Israel on January 24, 2016 sponsored by the Anti-Defamation League (ADL)." You then went on to modify your request: "any applications submitted by the Superintendent related to the trip and all documents associated with said applications, any reports about the Superintendent's participation in the trip, any notes taken by the Superintendent during the trip, and any presentations made or e-mails sent by the Chief about the trip."

As this request is rather non-specific, this office interprets your request as pertaining to the Lowell Police Department Superintendent William Taylor's participation in the ADL NEW ENGLAND COUNTER-TERRORISM SEMINAR (NECTS) IN ISRAEL; and further, this office has interpreted your request as a request for all emails the Superintendent sent regarding this trip, the Superintendent's written request to the City Manager for travel, the City Council Approval (Meeting Agenda and Minutes and related documents); and the Conflict of Interest Disclosure filed with the City Clerk. See 950 CMR 32.05(4) ("A custodian's superior knowledge of the contents of a governmental entity's files shall be used to assist in promptly complying with the request."). These documents are attached.
Your request further asks that the documents be provided in an "accessible format, including for screen readers, which would require text-to-speech for persons unable to read print." As you know, however, a records custodian is only obliged to provide access to existing files. A records custodian is not required to create new documents or to provide documents in new formats. See G. L. c. 4, § 7(26) (defining "public records" as materials which have already been "made or received" by a public entity); see also 32 Op. Att'y Gen. 157, 165 (May 18, 1977) (custodian is not obliged to create a record in response to a request for information; the Public Records Law and Regulations only apply to existing records). Documents will be provided in the format in which they exist.

Please note that you may appeal this response by petition to the Supervisor of Public Records at the following address:
Public Records Division
Secretary of the Commonwealth
One Ashburton Place, Room 1719
Boston, MA 02108

Please call or email if you have any questions or if I can be of further assistance.
James F. Wellock | Assistant City Solicitor City of Lowell - Law Department City Hall, 375 Merrimack Street, 3rd Floor | Lowell, MA 01852-5909
Tel: 978.674.4050 | Fax: 978.453.1510 | http://www.lowellma.gov<http://www.lowellma.gov/>
This message and the documents attached to it, if any, are intended only for the use of the addressee and may contain information that is PRIVILEGED and CONFIDENTIAL and/or may contain ATTORNEY WORK PRODUCT. If you are not the intended recipient, you are hereby notified that any dissemination of this communication is strictly prohibited. If you have received this communication in error, please delete all electronic copies of this message and its attachments, if any, and destroy any hard copies that you may have created and notify the Sender via email or telephone.
LOWELL Alive. Unique. Inspiring.

---

On June 16, 2016:
To Whom It May Concern:

I wanted to follow up on the following Freedom of Information request, copied below, and originally submitted on May 25, 2016. Please let me know when I can expect to receive a response, or if further clarification is needed.

Thanks for your help, and let me know if further clarification is needed.

---

On June 6, 2016:
To Whom It May Concern:

I wanted to follow up on the following Freedom of Information request, copied below, and originally submitted on May 25, 2016. Please let me know when I can expect to receive a response, or if further clarification is needed.

Thanks for your help, and let me know if further clarification is needed.

---

On May 25, 2016:
To Whom It May Concern:

Pursuant to the Massachusetts Public Records Law, M.G.L. c.66, §10, I hereby request the following records:

A copy of all records related to Lowell Police Superintendent William Taylor's participation in a trip to Israel on January 24, 2016 sponsored by the Anti-Defamation League (ADL)

This includes, but is not restricted to, any applications submitted by the Superintendent related to the trip and all documents associated with said applications, any reports about the Superintendent's participation in the trip, any notes taken by the Superintendent during the trip, and any presentations made or e-mails sent by the Chief about the trip.

More information about the trip can be found here: http://www.masslive.com/politics/index.ssf/2016/01/massachusetts_law_enforcement.html.

I also request that, if appropriate, fees be waived as we believe this request is in the public interest, as suggested but not stipulated by the recommendations of the Massachusetts Supervisor of Public Records. The requested documents will be made available to the general public free of charge as part of the public information service at MuckRock.com, processed by a representative of the news media/press and is made in the process of news gathering and not for commercial usage.

I expect the request to be filled in an accessible format, including for screen readers, which provide text-to-speech for persons unable to read print. Files that are not accessible to screen readers include, for example, .pdf image files as well as physical documents.

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. 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 10 calendar days, as the statute requires.

Sincerely,

Waqas Mirza

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Filed via MuckRock.com
E-mail (Preferred): requests@muckrock.com

For mailed responses, please address (see note):
MuckRock
DEPT MR 25897
411A Highland Ave
Somerville, MA 02144-2516

PLEASE NOTE: This request was filed by a MuckRock staff reporter. Also note that improperly addressed (i.e., with the requester's name rather than "MuckRock News" and the department number) requests might be returned as undeliverable.
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