Blog note

Bloomberg’s office responds – sort of

For those that follow, you know that I, Todd Shepherd, have been complaining for about two weeks that a Freedom of Information Law (FOIL) request sent to NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s office was delayed. And then delayed some more.

Finally, however, with the arrival of the snail mail on August 29, I got a response. Sort of.

Among the items I had asked for were specific portions of Mayor Bloomberg’s “scheduling calendar.” Please note the exact phraseology I used.

Now, take a look at one of the pages of the calendar response I was given:

2013-02-01 NYC Bloomberg Calendar


There were 41 total pages like this. Why did it take over 90 days to produce such a small and easy to locate document?

Am I being cynical by believing, yet again, that the New York City Mayor’s office is purposefully obfuscating this process? First by creating unusual delays, and second, by purposefully choosing a close-but-incorrect document to send as a response?

Let’s say my cynicism is wrong. Then are we to believe that attorneys, smart enough to become the Director and Deputy Director of the “Records Access Office” of the Mayor’s office of the largest city in the United States, don’t know the difference between a scheduling calendar and a public calendar?

Furthermore, I have repeatedly asked the attorneys in the NYC “Records Access Office” to communicate with me by email in order to expedite the process. That has never happened. Remember also that Michael Bloomberg made his fortune by developing early methods of communicating stock information electronically. I guess email is still a quantum leap for the other employees of Mayor Bloomberg’s office.

Either way, the NYC Mayor’s “Records Access Office” is setting new lows for professionalism and for maintaining the spirit of open records laws, in my opinion.

The fight goes on. Stay tuned.

Todd Shepherd is the investigative reporter for the Independence Institute in Colorado, and founder of Email him tips at

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