Police department misconduct allegations and disciplinary proceedings

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

It is a clone of this request.

Est. Completion None
Status
Fix Required

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_-_Template20-202020-06-18T120324.803.pdf

From: Oswego City Police Department

Dear Sir or Madame:

On behalf of the City of Oswego, receipt is hereby acknowledged of the FOIL request (as well as the Preservation & Litigation Hold Notice) made pursuant to the NYS Public Officers Law for various records maintained by or on behalf of the Oswego Police Department.

In an effort to comply with your request, the City Clerk will be seeking clarification of the depth & breadth of your request (some of the requests are vague, overly broad, ambiguous, or do not reasonably describe the records being sought). Additionally, some of the records you are requesting may not be in the possession of the City of Oswego or any of its departments, consistent with the City's Records Retention Policy. Moreover, every record requested will be comprehensively reviewed and, as required by NYS law, redacted. This comprehensive review is underway. As you can appreciate, all of this takes time.

Accordingly, and in furtherance of the POL, the City of Oswego hereby places you on notice that it will endeavor to complete its review of your request as soon as possible and within a reasonable time - which is being construed as at least 6-12 months from this date. The City of Oswego reserves the right to notify you at any time of its need to extend the date of compliance with this request.

A representative of the Clerk's office or the Personnel Department will likely reach out to Mr. Morris or Mr. Yannacone in the near term to seek clarification on the documents requested, the preference for disclosing all records at once or in stages, and other reasonable inquiries.

In the meantime, if you have questions related to this matter please do not hesitate to contact me, Ms. Sterio, and/or Mr. Tesoriero.

Thank you.

Kevin C. Caraccioli
City Attorney
City of Oswego
13 West Oneida Street
Oswego, New York 13126
(315) 342-8151
kcaraccioli@oswegony.org<mailto:kcaraccioli@oswegony.org>

  • MuckRock_Litigation_Hold_-_Template20-202020-06-18T120324.803

From: Oswego City Police Department

Dear Sir or Madame:

On behalf of the City of Oswego, receipt is hereby acknowledged of the FOIL request (as well as the Preservation & Litigation Hold Notice) made pursuant to the NYS Public Officers Law for various records maintained by or on behalf of the Oswego Police Department.

In an effort to comply with your request, the City Clerk will be seeking clarification of the depth & breadth of your request (some of the requests are vague, overly broad, ambiguous, or do not reasonably describe the records being sought). Additionally, some of the records you are requesting may not be in the possession of the City of Oswego or any of its departments, consistent with the City's Records Retention Policy. Moreover, every record requested will be comprehensively reviewed and, as required by NYS law, redacted. This comprehensive review is underway. As you can appreciate, all of this takes time.

Accordingly, and in furtherance of the POL, the City of Oswego hereby places you on notice that it will endeavor to complete its review of your request as soon as possible and within a reasonable time - which is being construed as at least 6-12 months from this date. The City of Oswego reserves the right to notify you at any time of its need to extend the date of compliance with this request.

A representative of the Clerk's office or the Personnel Department will likely reach out to Mr. Morris or Mr. Yannacone in the near term to seek clarification on the documents requested, the preference for disclosing all records at once or in stages, and other reasonable inquiries.

In the meantime, if you have questions related to this matter please do not hesitate to contact me, Ms. Sterio, and/or Mr. Tesoriero.

Thank you.

Kevin C. Caraccioli
City Attorney
City of Oswego
13 West Oneida Street
Oswego, New York 13126
(315) 342-8151
kcaraccioli@oswegony.org<mailto:kcaraccioli@oswegony.org>

  • MuckRock_Litigation_Hold_-_Template20-202020-06-18T120324.803

From: Oswego City Police Department

Sir or Madame:

Please refer to my reply of July 7, 2020. If you wish to discuss specifics related to your request please contact me directly.

Thank you.

Kevin C. Caraccioli
City Attorney
City of Oswego
13 West Oneida Street
Oswego, New York 13126
(315) 342-0162
kcaraccioli@oswegony.org

From: Beryl Lipton

Hello Mr. Caraccioli —

Thank you so much for your previous message. I apologize for the delay in providing any additional response. Please find below an updated version of my previously-submitted Freedom of Information Law request. This version provides additional specificity about the requested information. Please let me know if I should call about this request.

Thank you so much for your time and help.

Best wishes,
Beryl
617-500-7123

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) 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 - 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

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: Oswego City Police Department

To Whom It May Concern/Beryl Lipton:

Since June, 2020, the City of Oswego Personnel Department has been searching its records in order to comply with the FOIL request contained below. The records will be delivered at one time, and not in partial deliveries. Towards that end, please note that the nature of the FOIL request (which seeks records as far back as 1970) requires city staff to search archived records in addition to performing their regular daily work. Once the records are retrieved it will be necessary for other departments within city government to individually review each record to ensure that personal/private information is redacted from the records before they are transmitted to you. This all takes time and significant effort by a small municipal government with limited staff, operating at times with reduced employees due to Covid-19 and related circumstances. There are literally thousands of pages of documents to cull through to comply with this FOIL request. As such, it will take the City of Oswego several additional months to comply with this request. If you wish to narrow your request, it may help to speed up the process. Absent that, the City of Oswego is doing the best it can under all the circumstances noted to comply with this request.

Thank you.

Kevin C. Caraccioli
City Attorney
City of Oswego
13 West Oneida Street
Oswego, New York 13126
(315) 342-0162
kcaraccioli@oswegony.org

From: Oswego City Police Department

To Whom It May Concern:

Please see the response from December 31, 2020.

Kevin C. Caraccioli
City Attorney
City of Oswego
13 West Oneida Street
Oswego, New York 13126
(315) 342-0162
kcaraccioli@oswegony.org

From: Beryl Lipton

Hello Mr. Caraccioli,

I hope this message finds you well and warm.

I'm wondering whether it would be possible to work out a release schedule that starts with the most recent records and moves toward the historical ones. Is that something we could discuss?

Thanks for your time and help.

Best,
Beryl

From: Beryl Lipton

Hello Mr. Caraccioli,

Thank you so much for your December update on this request. I'm wondering whether you could please provide an estimated completion date for this request. I understand that it may take a while longer, but having a realistic sense of when the request will be completed will help me to avoid unnecessary follow-up messages.

Thank you so much for your time and help.

Best wishes,
Beryl

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  • MuckRock_Litigation_Hold_-_Template20-202020-06-18T120324.803.pdf

  • MuckRock_Litigation_Hold_-_Template20-202020-06-18T120324.803

  • MuckRock_Litigation_Hold_-_Template20-202020-06-18T120324.803