Did the mayor of New York assassinate a groundhog, and other shocking revelations from the #Groundhoghazi emails
On February 2, 2014, New York City mayor was participating in the yearly Groundhog Day event at the Staten Island Zoo when the morning’s festivities took a tragic turn. The groundhog, a female “Chuck” stand-in by the name of Charlotte, fell from Bill de Blasio’s hands and tumbled to the ground. Seven days later, on February 9th, Charlotte was found dead in her enclosure from “acute internal injuries,” injuries the zoo claimed had nothing to do with Charlotte’s fall. Recently released emails between New York City reporters and the Mayor’s press team acquired through a FOIL request are rife with shocking allegations that now call into question everything we know about the incident (not really).
Earlier today journalist Matthew Chayes reported that NYPD Deputy Commissioner John Miller called the department “the most transparent municipal police department in the world” in testimony before New York City Council. In light of this rather bold claim regarding an agency routinely ranked among the worst in the state regarding openness and access, we thought we’d dig up some examples of the NYPD’s rather unique take on transparency over the years.
Stories FOIA told this week has a last minute change of plans, but still coming through with your weekly round up of great stories FOIA and public records helped tell this week — plus news about changes (or potential changes) in state laws.
The New York World and MuckRock filed 344 open records requests to 86 local and state agencies subject to New York state’s Freedom of Information Law (FOIL) as part of an effort to assess how effectively different agencies deal with such requests. The results were decidedly mixed, as some agencies quickly provided the requested documents in an easy-to-use format and at no cost, while other requests remain outstanding to this day, eight months after they were filed.
|FOIL request stalled|