Just before Thanksgiving, Manhattan Judge Alice Schlesinger ruled that the Bloomberg administration turn over emails sent between the mayor and Cathie Black prior to Black’s short-lived appointment as New York City schools chancellor. (The fight for the emails had been instigated by Sergio Hernandez, former Village Voice intern, under the Freedom of Information law back in May of last year.) Hernandez had expected the release of the emails tomorrow — however, he tells us that the Bloomberg administration has decided to appeal and will not produce the information as expected.
Of course, it’s not unexpected that this would become a protracted legal battle — the mayor’s counsel had said they’d consider their legal options after the decision came down. They argue that the disclosure of the emails would be “an unwarranted invasion of personal privacy.”
The judge had said, in response to that:
“As Ms. Black did not meet the credentialing requirements for the all important position of school chancellor, the public has the right to know what information about her employment history and qualifications was disclosed in the emails.”
Any information of an intensely personal nature could easily be redacted,” she added.
We’ve contacted Bloomberg’s counsel for confirmation on the appeal and will update when we hear back. In the meantime…doesn’t all this make you want to read Bloomberg and Cathie Black’s email correspondence that much more?
Update: Connie Pankratz, the Law Department’s deputy communications director, told Gothamist they are filing an appeal Thursday. Pankratz confirmed to us, “We believe the emails are exempt from FOIL and are filing an appeal tomorrow.”
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on December 7, 2011