Police department misconduct allegations and disciplinary proceedings

Beryl Lipton filed this request with the Riverhead Town Police Department of Riverhead, NY.

It is a clone of this request.

Due March 11, 2021
Est. Completion None
Status
Awaiting Response

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_-_Template20-202020-06-18T134109.639.pdf

From: Riverhead Town Police Department

Dear Beryl Lipton:

This email acknowledges receipt of the subject FOIL request.

Please contact me to discuss the parameters of the FOIL request.

The Town requests clarification on the contents of the FOIL request before it can be in a position to substantively respond.

I also left a voice-mail message for you today at your provided telephone number (617-299-1832).

Regards, Dan

Daniel P. McCormick, Esq.

Deputy Town Attorney

Town of Riverhead

200 Howell Avenue

Riverhead, New York 11901

(631) 727-3200 Ext. 605

mccormick@townofriverheadny.gov

[1473888184736_PastedImage]

The information contained in this email message is only intended for the personal and confidential use of the designated recipient(s) named above. This message may be an attorney-client communication and as such, privileged and confidential. If the reader of this message is not the intended recipient, you are hereby notified that you have received this message and any attached documents in error and that any review, dissemination, distribution or copying of this message and any attached documents are strictly prohibited. If you have received this message in error, please kindly and immediately notify me by telephone and delete this message and any accompanying documents. Thank you.

From: Beryl Lipton

Hello Mr. McCormick,

Thank you so much for your response. I would be happy to discuss this request. Please let me know if there is a time today (Friday) or Monday that might work best for you.

Warm wishes,
Beryl

From: Beryl Lipton

Hello Mr. McCormick,

I'm very sorry I missed your call. If you could please give me a ring at your convenience at 617-500-7123, I would appreciate it.

All the best,
Beryl

From: Riverhead Town Police Department

Dear Sir/Madam:

First, please kindly identify yourself by individual name, telephone number, email address, title and company or organizational affiliation so I know who I am communicating with.

Please be advised that I left a voice mail message today for Beryl Lipton at 617-500-7123 as per an earlier email.

Please also be advised that on July 15, 2020, New York State Supreme Court Justice Carol R. Edmead, issued a Stay Order (Index No. 154982/2020) prohibiting the public disclosure of any records concerning unsubstantiated and non-final allegations or settlement agreements concerning disciplinary matters against individual police officers, firefighters and correction officers.

Please kindly call me to discuss this matter.

Thank you.

Regards, Dan

Daniel P. McCormick, Esq.

Deputy Town Attorney

Town of Riverhead

200 Howell Avenue

Riverhead, New York 11901

(631) 727-3200 Ext. 605

mccormick@townofriverheadny.gov

[1473888184736_PastedImage]

The information contained in this email message is only intended for the personal and confidential use of the designated recipient(s) named above. This message may be an attorney-client communication and as such, privileged and confidential. If the reader of this message is not the intended recipient, you are hereby notified that you have received this message and any attached documents in error and that any review, dissemination, distribution or copying of this message and any attached documents are strictly prohibited. If you have received this message in error, please kindly and immediately notify me by telephone and delete this message and any accompanying documents. Thank you.

From: Beryl Lipton

Hello Mr. McCormick —

Thank you for your earlier letter, and I apologize for the delay in my 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

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: Riverhead Town Police Department

Dear Mr. Lipton:

Thank you for your inquiry.

It is my understanding that the Second Circuit Court of Appeals in NYC reinstated a stay order regarding NYC police/fire/correction officers involving the same subject matter as your FOIL request. There is also a separate subject matter-related New York State Supreme Court stay order from upstate New York I believe is still in effect.

It is the Town's intent to address your FOIL request at the time and in consideration of the respective federal and state court substantive rulings on the subject matter.

Please kindly contact me to discuss this matter further.

Regards, Dan

Daniel P. McCormick, Esq.

Deputy Town Attorney

Town of Riverhead

200 Howell Avenue

Riverhead, New York 11901

(631) 727-3200 Ext. 605

mccormick@townofriverheadny.gov

[1473888184736_PastedImage]

The information contained in this email message is only intended for the personal and confidential use of the designated recipient(s) named above. This message may be an attorney-client communication and as such, privileged and confidential. If the reader of this message is not the intended recipient, you are hereby notified that you have received this message and any attached documents in error and that any review, dissemination, distribution or copying of this message and any attached documents are strictly prohibited. If you have received this message in error, please kindly and immediately notify me by telephone and delete this message and any accompanying documents. Thank you.

From: Beryl Lipton

Hi Dan,

I hope this message finds you very well. I'm wondering whether you could please provide an estimated completion date for this request. I last heard from your office in December, and I believe the relevant legal action has been resolved since then.

I understand that it may take a while longer to process this FOIL, but having a realistic sense of when the request will be completed will help me to avoid unnecessary follow-up messages.

Thanks so much for your help.

Best,
Beryl

From: Riverhead Town Police Department

Good afternoon Mr./Ms. Lipton:

Thank you for your inquiry.

Pursuant to the recent court decision, please kindly update your FOIL request and kindly advise me as to exactly what records that you are currently requesting.

Thank you.

Regards, Dan

Daniel P. McCormick, Esq.

Deputy Town Attorney

Town of Riverhead

200 Howell Avenue

Riverhead, New York 11901

(631) 727-3200 Ext. 605

mccormick@townofriverheadny.gov

[1473888184736_PastedImage]

The information contained in this email message is only intended for the personal and confidential use of the designated recipient(s) named above. This message may be an attorney-client communication and as such, privileged and confidential. If the reader of this message is not the intended recipient, you are hereby notified that you have received this message and any attached documents in error and that any review, dissemination, distribution or copying of this message and any attached documents are strictly prohibited. If you have received this message in error, please kindly and immediately notify me by telephone and delete this message and any accompanying documents. Thank you.

From: Beryl Lipton

Dear Dan —

Thank you very much for your message. Below you'll find an updated version of this FOIL request.

I really appreciate your time and help with this, and I hope you'll let me know if there are any questions I can address.

Best wishes,
Beryl
________________

To Whom It May Concern:

Pursuant to the New York Freedom of Information Law, we respectfully request copies of all materials and records pertaining to any and all allegations of misconduct, and any and all disciplinary actions or proceedings taken against, any law enforcement officer, employee, or representative of the Agency, including, but not limited to
(1) investigative records,
(2) allegations or complaints made,
(3) statements of charge,
(4) transcripts of hearings,
(5) notices of decision,
(6) letters of termination or resignation,
(7) letters of reinstatement,
(8) record of appeal,
(9) final decisions rendered,
(10) records sufficient to show any and all penalties imposed or corrective action taken by the Agency, and
(11) all correspondence, written communications, e-mails, faxes, memorandum and the like pertaining to any such allegations, complaints, or disciplinary proceedings.

For a more specific definition of the term “law enforcement disciplinary record,” please see Section 86 of the New York Public Officers Law, which defines a “law enforcement disciplinary record” as “any record created in furtherance of a law enforcement disciplinary proceeding, including, but not limited to: (a) the complaints, allegations, and charges against an employee; (b) the name of the employee complained of or charged; (c) the transcript of any disciplinary trial or hearing, including any exhibits introduced at such trial or hearing; (d) the disposition of any disciplinary proceeding; and (e) the final written opinion or memorandum supporting the disposition and discipline imposed including the agency's complete factual findings and its analysis of the conduct and appropriate discipline of the covered employee.”

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 requested 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."
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.

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) for which the misconduct allegations or disciplinary materials are relevant.

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

If materials are not available for the requested timeframes, please let me know for which periods they are available. We understand that not all recordkeeping systems facilitate convenient access to some materials.

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: 617-500-7123.

This request is being submitted to each policing agency in New York as part of a collaborative project led by Gannett Co., Inc., the ultimate parent corporation of the Democrat & Chronicle, 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: Riverhead Town Police Department

Dear Mr. Lipton:

The Town is compiling the requested data.

We anticipate a response within approximately 20 business days due to the number of years you have requested.

Thank you.

Regards, Dan

Daniel P. McCormick, Esq.

Deputy Town Attorney

Town of Riverhead

200 Howell Avenue

Riverhead, New York 11901

(631) 727-3200 Ext. 605

mccormick@townofriverheadny.gov

[1473888184736_PastedImage]

The information contained in this email message is only intended for the personal and confidential use of the designated recipient(s) named above. This message may be an attorney-client communication and as such, privileged and confidential. If the reader of this message is not the intended recipient, you are hereby notified that you have received this message and any attached documents in error and that any review, dissemination, distribution or copying of this message and any attached documents are strictly prohibited. If you have received this message in error, please kindly and immediately notify me by telephone and delete this message and any accompanying documents. Thank you.

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