The MBTA review of the China CNR Corporation Limited

Phil Shannon filed this request with the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA) of Massachusetts.
Due Jan. 24, 2016
Est. Completion None
Status
Awaiting Response
Tags

Communications

From: Phil Shannon

To Whom It May Concern:

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

From yesterdays' news reports on the contract for new Red line and Orange line trains I noticed the following statement "An MBTA spokesman said the agency’s review found no human rights violations by China CNR Corporation Limited." I request all documents from this MBTA review.

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 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 10 calendar days, as the statute requires.

Sincerely,

Phil Shannon

From: McGaraghan, Neil

Mr. Shannon - hard copy follows by mail. Please contact me if you have questions.

Kind regards,

Neil McGaraghan
T 617.951.8121
F 617.951.8736
neil.mcgaraghan@bingham.com
B I N G H A M
Bingham McCutchen LLP
One Federal Street
Boston, MA 02110-1726

________________________________
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From: MuckRock

Dear Mr. McGaraghan-

I have received your response to my Public Records Request concerning The MBTA review of human rights violations by the China CNR Corporation Limited, sent on behalf of the MBTA. Thank you for sending it.

In this response you have informed me that "The MBTA has determined that all documents responsive to your request are protected by the attorney-client privilege", and I would like to appeal this decision. Please consider this email transmission as my official appeal.

I do not believe that the MBTA can have it both ways. As you are aware, on the same day in October when the MBTA announced that they awarded the contract to CNR, they also went public with the following "An MBTA spokesman said the agency's review found no human rights violations by China CNR Corporation Limited." See the attached national news reports for confirmation.

I believe that if 100% of all documents related to this review are confidential and are to be hidden from the public, then the MBTA spokesman would not have given the media this claim that their alleged review "found no human rights violations by China CNR Corporation Limited".

I request that the MBTA release to me all documentation and records related to my request without further obstruction. If there actually is any information protected by the "attorney-client privilege" involved, then that information should be redacted.

Sincerely,

Philip Shannon
7 Bow St
Carver, Ma. 02330

From: Phil Shannon

I sent my appeal via email to info@muckrock.com as well as Neil McFarahan, on Nov 19th 2014

From: MuckRock

A copy of this appeal has been mailed to the Secretary of the Commonwealth.
___________________

Dear Mr. McGaraghan-

I have received your response to my Public Records Request concerning The MBTA review of human rights violations by the China CNR Corporation Limited, sent on behalf of the MBTA. Thank you for sending it.

In this response you have informed me that "The MBTA has determined that all documents responsive to your request are protected by the attorney-client privilege", and I would like to appeal this decision. Please consider this email transmission as my official appeal.

I do not believe that the MBTA can have it both ways. As you are aware, on the same day in October when the MBTA announced that they awarded the contract to CNR, they also went public with the following "An MBTA spokesman said the agency's review found no human rights violations by China CNR Corporation Limited." See the attached national news reports for confirmation.

I believe that if 100% of all documents related to this review are confidential and are to be hidden from the public, then the MBTA spokesman would not have given the media this claim that their alleged review "found no human rights violations by China CNR Corporation Limited".

I request that the MBTA release to me all documentation and records related to my request without further obstruction. If there actually is any information protected by the "attorney-client privilege" involved, then that information should be redacted.

Sincerely,

Philip Shannon
7 Bow St
Carver, Ma. 02330

From: Phil Shannon

Dear Mr. McGaraghan-

I have received your response to my Public Records Request concerning The MBTA review of human rights violations by the China CNR Corporation Limited, sent on behalf of the MBTA. Thank you for sending it.

In this response you have informed me that "The MBTA has determined that all documents responsive to your request are protected by the attorney-client privilege", and I would like to appeal this decision. Please consider this email transmission as my official appeal.

I do not believe that the MBTA can have it both ways. As you are aware, on the same day in October when the MBTA announced that they awarded the contract to CNR, they also went public with the following "An MBTA spokesman said the agency's review found no human rights violations by China CNR Corporation Limited." See the attached national news reports for confirmation.

I believe that if 100% of all documents related to this review are confidential and are to be hidden from the public, then the MBTA spokesman would not have given the media this claim that their alleged review "found no human rights violations by China CNR Corporation Limited".

I request that the MBTA release to me all documentation and records related to my request without further obstruction. If there actually is any information protected by the "attorney-client privilege" involved, then that information should be redacted.

Sincerely,

Philip Shannon
7 Bow St
Carver, Ma. 02330

From: Shirley, Jean (SEC)

Dear Mr. Shannon,

I am in receipt of your appeal to this office regarding your public records request. Please call our office at the phone number below to discuss this appeal.

Cordially,

Jean Shirley
Administrative Assistant
Office of the Secretary of the Commonwealth
Public Records Division
One Ashburton Place, Room 1719
Boston, MA 02108
(617) 727-2832

From: Phil Shannon

I called 617-727-2832 on 6-12-2015 and left voice message with my callback number. I called 617-727-2836 6-16-2015 and left my name and call back number again. Still waiting for a return call...

From: Phil Shannon

I called 617-727-2832 and 2836 again on 6-25-2015 and left a message. Still no call backs. Here is an idea, why don't you email me at shannon dot digital at gmail dot com and that way we may be able to move this conversation into the 21st Century? One way phone tag is so 1980's

From: Phil Shannon

We are still waiting for an email response, please advise.

From: Phil Shannon

Yesterday I spoke with Jean Shirley, and emailed her the documents for this request. Hopefully moving the process forward now.

From: SPR

Appeal Successful.

From: MuckRock

Hi Neal,

Thanks for your time on the phone just now. Below is a link to the Supervisor of Public Records determination on this case:

https://d3gn0r3afghep.cloudfront.net/foia_files/2016/01/07/SPR15_739.pdf

In it, the Supervisor ordered responsive records be provided within ten days.

Thank you for your help getting this request resolved.

From: McGaraghan, Neil G.

Mr. Shannon - Your request/inquiry should be directed to Susan Cobb, MBTA Deputy General Counsel (scobb@MBTA.com<mailto:scobb@MBTA.com>). Ms. Cobb is copied on this email.

Regards,

Neil G. McGaraghan
Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP
One Federal Street | Boston, MA 02110-1726
Direct: +1.617.951.8121 | Main: +1.617.341.7700 | Fax: +1.617.341.7701
neil.mcgaraghan@morganlewis.com<mailto:neil.mcgaraghan@morganlewis.com> | www.morganlewis.com<http://www.morganlewis.com/>
Assistant: Cynthia A. Weisse | +1.617.951.8743 | cynthia.weisse@morganlewis.com <mailto:cynthia.weisse@morganlewis.com>

From: MuckRock

Hello Ms. Cobb,

Could you please provide an update on the status of this request?

Thanks so much,
Beryl, MuckRock

From:

Dear Ms. Lipton:

This is in response to your email to Attorney Susan Cobb of the MBTA dated September 2, 2016 seeking an update on Muckrock’s/Philip Shannon’s Public Record Law (“PRL”) request “concerning the MBTA’s review of human rights violations by the China CNR Corporation Limited”.

Subject to, and without waiving, any other exemption, privilege or protection, please be advised that the MBTA invokes the attorney client privilege and work product protection (through exemption (d) of M.G.L. c. 4, § 7, Twenty-sixth) and is withholding from production a Legal Memorandum with exhibits from Holland & Knight, LLP to the MBTA’s General Counsel dated October 20, 2014 pertaining to due diligence conducted by and through counsel on the successful bidder prior to Board selection. See, DaRosa v. City of New Bedford, 471 Mass. 446, 30 N.E.3d 790 (2015) (“deliberative process” exemption/work product); and Suffolk Construction Company v. Division of Capital Asset Management, 449 Mass. 444, 870 N.E.2d 33 (2007) (attorney-client privilege); see also 950 C.M.R. 32.08(7).

Regards,
Mark Michalowski | Holland & Knight
Partner
Holland & Knight LLP
10 Saint James Avenue, 11th Floor | Boston, MA 02116
Phone 617.573.5828 | Fax 617.523.6850
mark.michalowski@hklaw.com<mailto:mark.michalowski@hklaw.com> | www.hklaw.com<http://www.hklaw.com/>
________________________________________________
Add to address book<http://www.hklaw.com/vcard.aspx?user=Mmichalo> | View professional biography<http://www.hklaw.com/id77/biosMmichalo>

________________________________

NOTE: This e-mail is from a law firm, Holland & Knight LLP (“H&K”), and is intended solely for the use of the individual(s) to whom it is addressed. If you believe you received this e-mail in error, please notify the sender immediately, delete the e-mail from your computer and do not copy or disclose it to anyone else. If you are not an existing client of H&K, do not construe anything in this e-mail to make you a client unless it contains a specific statement to that effect and do not disclose anything to H&K in reply that you expect it to hold in confidence. If you properly received this e-mail as a client, co-counsel or retained expert of H&K, you should maintain its contents in confidence in order to preserve the attorney-client or work product privilege that may be available to protect confidentiality.

From: MuckRock

To Whom It May Concern:

This is a request for further assistance regarding Appeal SPR15/739, which was related to all MBTA records of human rights violations by China CNR Corporation Limited. In December 2015, your office determined that the agency's rejection was inappropriate. That determination can be found at: https://d3gn0r3afghep.cloudfront.net/foia_files/2016/01/07/SPR15_739.pdf. However, the agency still did not provide the requested materials. After additional follow ups, the agency responded to provide the same rejection; for your reference, previous communications are attached to this email. Your assistance in compelling this agency to comply with the public records law and the recommendations of your office would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks so much,
Beryl, MuckRock

"An MBTA spokesman said the agency’s review found no human rights violations by China CNR Corporation Limited."

From: Sullivan, Kellie (SEC)

Good morning,

This office reviewed, opened, and reached a determination regarding this matter. The determination letter was mailed to Mr. Shannon and yourself on October 26, 2016. Please find attached a PDF copy of that determination.

Thank you,

Kellie Sullivan
Office of the Secretary of the Commonwealth
Public Records Division
One Ashburton Place, Room 1719
Boston, MA 02108
617-727-2832

From: Sullivan, Kellie (SEC)

Good morning,

This office reached a determination in this matter on October 26, 2016. This determination was provided to you and Mr. Shannon. For your convenience, please find attached a copy of this determination.

Thank you,

Kellie Sullivan
Office of the Secretary of the Commonwealth
Public Records Division
One Ashburton Place, Room 1719
Boston, MA 02108
617-727-2832

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