Inter-Agency Text Messages - Immediate Disclosure Request (SF Health Officer Tomas Aragon)

Anonymous Journalist filed this request with the Department of Public Health of San Francisco, CA .
Tracking #

20-2942

Est. Completion None
Status
Partially Completed

Communications

From: Anonymous Journalist

Health Officer Tomas Aragon:

Below are new Immediate Disclosure Requests (SF Admin Code 67.25(a)) directed to you. Your response is required by June 5, 2020. Rolling records responses are requested (SFAC 67.25(d)) if you are unable to immediately produce records. Exact copies of every responsive record are requested (Gov Code 6253(b)) - do not: provide mere URLs, print and scan electronic records, convert native files to PDFs, or provide black and white versions of any color images. Provide only copies of records not requiring fees and in-person inspection of all other records (GC 6253).

Your non-exhaustive obligations:
- All withholding of any information must be justified in writing (SFAC 67.27).
- All withholdings by masking or deletion (aka redactions) must be keyed by footnote or other clear reference to the specific justification for that redaction, and only the minimal exempt portion of any record may be withheld (SFAC 67.26).
- You must respond to emailed requests (SFAC 67.21(b)).
- You must notify us of whether or not responsive records exist and/or were withheld for each below request (Gov Code 6253(c), 6255(b)).
- You must state the name and title of each person responsible for withholding any information (Gov Code 6253(d)).
- Do not impose any end-user restrictions upon me (Santa Clara Co. vs Superior Ct, 170 Cal.App 4th 1301); so if you use a third-party website like NextRequest to publish records, please make them completely public without any login or sign-in.

Your agency must do all of the above things in your response, and you cannot wait until we file complaints.

****** We have no duty to, and we will not again, remind the City of its obligations. Instead, we will file complaints for every Sunshine Ordinance or CPRA violation. We will continue to file complaints until the City's procedures are modified to fully comply with the Sunshine Ordinance and CPRA, without caveat or exception. ******

1. All text or chat messages (including group messages) in any form or application (including but not limited to SMS, MMS, WhatsApp, WeChat, Signal, Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, Hangouts, Skype, Teams):
- a) sent by you to/cc/bcc any of Mayor London Breed, Sean Elsbernd, SFPD Chief William Scott, Dennis Herrera, Grant Colfax, Jeff Kositsky, Mohammed Nuru, Alaric Degrafinried, Andy Lynch, Hank Heckel, Mary Ellen Carroll, or Abigail Stewart-Kahn (the "Named Public Officials") OR
- b) sent by any of the Named Public Officials and received by you (and possibly others, such as in a group message) OR
- c) sent by a third party and received by both you and any of the Named Public Officials (such as in a group message),
with timestamps between Jan 1, 2019 and June 3, 2020 (inclusive), including a personal property search under City of San Jose vs Superior Court (2017). While the phone numbers are not needed, the following must be preserved: the timestamps, the textual content, attachments, and images, and also ALL sender and recipient names (including groups). Pursuant to SF Admin Code 67.21(l), which requires you to use any electronic format that we request, please provide the records in spreadsheet format. For an example of the format of the response, see SFPD Chief Scott's prior response here: https://cdn.muckrock.com/foia_files/2020/04/14/Text_Messages_Breed_Scott_Redacted.pdf and clearly referenced redaction justifications here: https://cdn.muckrock.com/foia_files/2020/04/14/ChiefOfficeResponse201.pdf (though I do not concede all of them are appropriate redactions) . Please provide rolling responses, starting with the most recent records going backwards. Messages to/from before your current department head became the department must still be provided.

Do not destroy or discard any responsive records - we will appeal all withholdings or Sunshine violations. Remember your department head has an obligation to maintain in a professional and businesslike manner correspondence and release them as public records (SF Admin Code 67.27-9(a)); and we will cross-check your responses with all other parties to ensure you have not destroyed or withheld records improperly.

Thank you for your anticipated cooperation in this matter.

NOTE: Please be certain you have properly redacted all of your responses. Once you send them to us, there is no going back. The email address sending this request is a publicly- viewable mailbox. All of your responses (including all responsive records) may be instantly and automatically available to the public online via the MuckRock.com FOIA service used to issue this request (though the requester is an anonymous user, not a representative of MuckRock). Nothing herein is legal, IT, or professional advice of any kind. The author disclaims all warranties, express or implied, including but not limited to all warranties of merchantability or fitness. In no event shall the author be liable for any special, direct, indirect, consequential, or any other damages whatsoever. The digital signature, if any, in this email is not an indication of a binding agreement or offer; it merely authenticates the sender. Please do not include any confidential information, as I intend that these communications with the City all be disclosable public records.

Sincerely,
Anonymous

From: Department of Public Health

City and County of San Francisco

************************************************************************

Hi there

Your first City and County of San Francisco record request (request number #20-2942) has been submitted.
It is currently unpublished and is not available for the general public to view.

As the requester, you can always see the status of your
request by signing into the City and County of San Francisco Public Records
portal here.

If you haven't already activated your account,
click here to get started.
Once your account is activated, your request will be visible at the following link:
Request #20-2942.

************************************************************************
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From: Department of Public Health

City and County of San Francisco

************************************************************************

Hi there

A message was sent to you regarding record request #20-2942:

Hi, 

Can you help us identify keywords you would like us to search between the listed individuals in your request? This will help us narrow down the broad search for records.

Thank you for your help. We will clarify the final search terms with you before conducting the search.

Thank you.

************************************************************************
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From: Anonymous Journalist

request 20-2942:

no keywords - i want to see the conversations with the named officials as laid out in the original request.

From: Department of Public Health

City and County of San Francisco

************************************************************************

Hi there

Record request #20-2942 has been closed. The closure reason supplied was:

We did not hear back from you when we asked for more clarification about your request. Since we are unable to conduct a diligent search for responsive records without your guidance, we consider your request closed. If you are still interested in your request, you are welcome to submit a new request with more details at any time here: https://sanfrancisco.nextrequest.com/requests/new

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From: Department of Public Health

City and County of San Francisco

************************************************************************

Hi there

Record request #20-2942 has been reopened. You can see it anytime at the link below.

************************************************************************
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From: Anonymous Journalist

You seem to be confused re 20-2942. There are different requests to DPH from different muckrock email addresses at different times. Please be sure to respond to EVERY records request.

From: Department of Public Health

Hi Anonymous,

We appreciate your email to help clarify the difference in the PRA requests.

In regards to Request #20-2942, you are requesting for:
1. All text or chat messages (including group messages) in any form or application (including but not limited to SMS, MMS, WhatsApp, WeChat, Signal, Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, Hangouts, Skype, Teams):
- a) sent by you to/cc/bcc any of Mayor London Breed, Sean Elsbernd, SFPD Chief William Scott, Dennis Herrera, Grant Colfax, Jeff Kositsky, Mohammed Nuru, Alaric Degrafinried, Andy Lynch, Hank Heckel, Mary Ellen Carroll, or Abigail Stewart-Kahn (the "Named Public Officials") OR
- b) sent by any of the Named Public Officials and received by you (and possibly others, such as in a group message) OR
- c) sent by a third party and received by both you and any of the Named Public Officials (such as in a group message),
with timestamps between Jan 1, 2019 and June 3, 2020 (inclusive), including a personal property search under City of San Jose vs Superior Court (2017).

Will you kindly help clarify who are you are referring to when you state “you” as highlighted in the above three items? Once we have a clearer understanding of your request, we will be able to diligently conduct a search for responsive records.

Thank you for your help with this,

Veronica Vien

From: Department of Public Health

City and County of San Francisco

************************************************************************

Hi there

A message was sent to you regarding record request #20-2942:

Hi Anonymous,

 

We appreciate your email to help clarify the difference in the PRA requests.

 

In regards to Request #20-2942, you are requesting for:

* All text or chat messages (including group messages) in any form or application (including but not limited to SMS, MMS, WhatsApp, WeChat, Signal, Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, Hangouts, Skype, Teams):

- a) sent by you to/cc/bcc any of Mayor London Breed, Sean Elsbernd, SFPD Chief William Scott, Dennis Herrera,Grant Colfax, Jeff Kositsky, Mohammed Nuru, Alaric Degrafinried, Andy Lynch, Hank Heckel, Mary Ellen Carroll, or Abigail Stewart-Kahn (the "Named Public Officials") OR

- b) sent by any of the Named Public Officials and received by you (and possibly others, such as in a group message) OR

- c) sent by a third party and received by both you and any of the Named Public Officials (such as in a group message),

with timestamps between Jan 1, 2019 and June 3, 2020 (inclusive), including a personal property search under City of San Jose vs Superior Court (2017).

 

Will you kindly help clarify who are you are referring to when you state “you” as highlighted in the above three items? Once we have a clearer understanding of your request, we will be able to diligently conduct a search for responsive records.

 

Thank you for your help with this,

 

Veronica Vien

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From: Anonymous Journalist

It was right at the top of the request. It was addressed to Mr. Aragon. This request was emailed to Aragon on June 4.
I hope you at that time preserved the requested records.
If you failed to do so, it may be now impossible for you to comply with the PRA.

Thank you,
Anonymous

From: Department of Public Health

Dear Requester,

Thank you for your clarification.

We no longer have records of Tomas Aragon’s text or chat messages (including group messages) in any form or application from his mobile device. However, we propose conducting a search through Grant Colfax’s mobile device for text or chat messages with Tomas Aragon, to help fulfill your request.

We anticipate Grant Colfax to have exchanged thousands of texts with Tomas Aragon from 2019-2020. In light of the current pandemic and local health emergency, this request will take a great deal of time to process and involve use of scarce public resources. We would prefer to work with you to get you responsive records in a reasonable manner. Therefore, we are asking for your help to narrow the timeframe of the search and review, to help facilitate the review. Can you please let us know which month(s) you are most interested in searching first? Additionally, we welcome any concepts or terms you can provide that can help narrow the search and review, to help facilitate the review.

We look forward to working with you.

Thank you for your understanding.

Veronica

From: Department of Public Health

City and County of San Francisco

************************************************************************

Hi there

A message was sent to you regarding record request #20-2942:

We no longer have records of Tomas Aragon’s text or chat messages (including group messages) in any form or application from his mobile device. However, we propose conducting a search through Grant Colfax’s mobile device for text or chat messages with Tomas Aragon, to help fulfill your request.

 

We anticipate Grant Colfax to have exchanged thousands of texts with Tomas Aragon from 2019-2020. In light of the current pandemic and local health emergency, this request will take a great deal of time to process and involve use of scarce public resources. We would prefer to work with you to get you responsive records in a reasonable manner. Therefore, we are asking for your help to narrow the timeframe of the search and review, to help facilitate the review. Can you please let us know which month(s) you are most interested in searching first? Additionally, we welcome any concepts or terms you can provide that can help narrow the search and review, to help facilitate the review.

 

We look forward to working with you.

 

Thank you for your understanding.

************************************************************************
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From: Anonymous Journalist

You and Colfax willfully violated the law by closing this request in Sept and then only reopening it in January after Aragon left the City's employment to make sure I could never get the records. We'll never know what Aragon and the Mayor discussed now...
Suit will be filed in this case - you will get my filing shortly.

From: Anonymous Journalist

Shortly, there will also be a records request to all City employees demanding all communications with Aragon and that they preserve all records.
Whatever it is you tried to hide here will be found out.

When will the City realize that it can never get away with illegal actions like this...

From: Anonymous Journalist

Shortly, there will also be a records request to all City employees demanding all communications with Aragon and that they preserve all records.
Whatever it is you tried to hide here will be found out.

When will the City realize that it can never get away with illegal actions like this...

From: Department of Public Health

Hi,

Please clarify if you would like for DPH to move forward with conducting the proposed alternate search for responsive records through Dr. Colfax’s mobile phone. If so, please narrow the timeframe to help facilitate the review.

We appreciate your help.

Thank you,
Veronica

From: Anonymous Journalist

You are required by law to produce all of the records. I will not agree that my request is satisfied by giving me these fewer records on Colfax's phone. My lack of agreement in no way allows you not to produce whatever you have.

From: Anonymous Journalist

This is a 67.21(d) petition for determination in writing that all records in DPH request 20-2942 - from June 4, 2020 - are public and an order for their disclosure. They only bothered searching after Tomas Aragon had left the City and now cannot produce all of the records that were in the constructive possession of the City at the time of my request.

--Anonymous

From: Anonymous Journalist

Ms. Vien,

I will remind you that DPH has refused completely to provide any records whatsoever to my June 4, 2020 original request of Mr. Aragon's records. Even though you have now permanently lost many of them in a way that apparently you cannot cure, you also refuse to provide anything from Mr. Colfax's phone. There is no reason you have not provided rolling response with whatever you can give each week, etc.

--Anonymous

From: Department of Public Health

City and County of San Francisco

************************************************************************

Hi there

A message was sent to you regarding record request #20-2942:

Dear Anonymous,

 

Thank you for your follow up. We certainly did not forget about you and your request.

 

The identifiable records to your request have been gathered, and we are currently reviewing for privileged information. We will provide you with records on a rolling basis as soon as we have the first batch available for you.

 

Thank you again for your patience.

 

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From: Department of Public Health

Dear Anonymous,

Thank you for your follow up. We certainly did not forget about you and your request.

The identifiable records to your request have been gathered, and we are currently reviewing for privileged information. We will provide you with records on a rolling basis as soon as we have the first batch available for you.

Thank you again for your patience.
Best,
Veronica

From: Department of Public Health

City and County of San Francisco

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Hi there

A document has been released for record request #20-2942:

* Batch 1.zip

Document links are valid for one month.
After May 6, you will need to sign in to view the document(s).

************************************************************************
<em>Questions about your request?</em> Reply to this email or sign in to contact staff at City and County of San Francisco.<br></br><em>Technical support:</em> See our <a href='https://www.nextrequest.com/support'>help page</a>

From: Department of Public Health

City and County of San Francisco

************************************************************************

Hi there

A document has been released for record request #20-2942:

* Combined PDF__Redacted.pdf

Document links are valid for one month.
After May 6, you will need to sign in to view the document(s).

************************************************************************
<em>Questions about your request?</em> Reply to this email or sign in to contact staff at City and County of San Francisco.<br></br><em>Technical support:</em> See our <a href='https://www.nextrequest.com/support'>help page</a>

From: Department of Public Health

City and County of San Francisco

************************************************************************

Hi there

A document has been released for record request #20-2942:

* Batch 3.zip

Document links are valid for one month.
After May 6, you will need to sign in to view the document(s).

************************************************************************
<em>Questions about your request?</em> Reply to this email or sign in to contact staff at City and County of San Francisco.<br></br><em>Technical support:</em> See our <a href='https://www.nextrequest.com/support'>help page</a>

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