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Cuomo admin delays and denies FOIL requests

Oct 28, 2014 12:15 am
[caption id="attachment_2087" align="alignleft" width="225"]Andrew Cuomo Andrew Cuomo glad-handing after campaign kickoff speech at BRIK Gallery in Catskill, July 17, 2010. Photo by Tom Roe.[/caption]

Michael Virtanen is reporting for the Associated Press Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo's office tightly controls requests for public records on anything controversial and routinely delays or denies their release. Previously, the fulfillment of Freedom of Information Law requests was the responsibility of individual state agencies, but current and former state officials say a year into Cuomo's administration requests began to be routed through the governor's legal counsel. In the story, Travis Proulx (Proo), the former communications director for the state Office for People with Developmental Disabilities, said the change came after a 2011 New York Times series on abuse of the disabled in state care that was based largely on public records. A Cuomo spokesman, Richard Azzopardi (AZZ-ah-pardee), said state agencies do process information requests, "at times conferring" with the governor's staff, "to ensure consistent and thorough responses.... We strive to complete Freedom of Information Law requests as quickly as possible, taking into account the large number that are received and the fact that some are voluminous and require a thorough legal review process." Azzopardi said they have processed 758 in the three years since the summer of 2011. Read the full Associated Press story in the Utica Observer-Dispatch.
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