Political appointee - list and resumes (Department of Education)

Nick Surgey filed this request with the Department of Education of Massachusetts.
Est. Completion None


From: Nick Surgey

To Whom It May Concern:

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

1. A list of any and all political appointments at the agency appointed from January 20, 2017 until the date of your final response to this request.

2. Copies of resumes for any and all political appointees hired since January 20, 2017 until the date of your final response to this request. These records are likely in the possession of the Designated Agency Ethics Official (DAEO).

Please provide these records as available on a rolling basis.

This request is being filed jointly by Nick Surgey of the Center for Media and Democracy, and Lee Fang of the Intercept/First Look Media.

The Center for Media and Democracy is entitled to a fee waiver because it is a news media organization, and because this request for records concerns activities or operations of the government. Disclosure of the requested records will likely increase public understanding of government operations since CMD has the ability and the intention, through the means described below, to effectively convey information contained within the requested records to a broad public audience. Founded in 1993, CMD’s investigative research and reporting has appeared in local and national publications such as the New York Times, the Guardian, and the Washington Post. CMD documents key facts in order to reveal the impact of policies on ordinary people, and has received various awards for its investigative reporting. In addition to using the information from this FOIA request to generate news stories, CMD would distribute information obtained and inform the public at large through various online platforms. CMD publishes information and investigative findings on a near daily basis through CMD’s reporting websites, PRWatch and ExposedbyCMD.

The Intercept is a publication of First Look Media. Launched in 2013, First Look Media is a multi-platform media company devoted to supporting independent voices, from fearless investigative journalism and documentary filmmaking to arts, culture, media and entertainment. First Look Media produces and distributes content in a wide range of forms including feature films, short-form video, podcasts, interactive media and long-form journalism, for its own digital properties and with partners. The Intercept, which covers a range of issues, including political corruption, civil liberties, and mass surveillance, has won a number of journalism awards – including the prestigious National Magazine Award.

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 business days, as the statute requires.


Nick Surgey

From: Varon, Joshua (DOE)

Dear Mr. Surgey:

The Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education has no records that respond to your request. As of January 20, 2017, the agency has had no political appointments. Annually, the State Student Advisory Council<http://www.doe.mass.edu/sac/> votes in a new student-member of the Board of Elementary and Secondary Education. They have done so again this year. This annual term of membership, however, is not a political appointment.

I hope you find this helpful,

Josh Varon
Legal Counsel
MA Dept. of Elem. and Sec. Ed.