FOIL Requests filed for four years of Councilmember Corey Johnson's official calendar records

By LOUIS FLORES

Progress Queens has filed open records requests for copies of the calendar records of New York City Councilmember Corey Johnson (D-Chelsea). The requests, filed under the State's Freedom of Information Law, seek copies of Councilmember Johnson's calendars for 2014, 2015, 2016, and 2017.

The FOIL Requests were unknowingly filed by Progress Queens after Government transparency activist, Michael Petrelis, had filed FOIL Requests, seeking the identical calendar records.

Progress Queens addressed the FOIL Requests to Danielle Barbato, the New York City Council FOIL officer. Ms. Barbato acknowledged the request for the 2017 calendar records, but she has yet to acknowledge the separate request made for the 2014, 2015, and 2016 calendar records. For his part, Mr. Petrelis had addressed his FOIL Request to Councilmember Johnson's e-mail address, but, in a follow-up e-mail sent on Saturday, Mr. Petrelis complained that Council Speaker Johnson had not received any responsive records. Mr. Petrelis had filed his FOIL Request on 09 December 2017.

"As of this writing, I've received only automated confirmation emails from Johnson but no responsive records," Mr. Petrelis wrote, in part, on Saturday, adding that he wished to lodge a complaint over Councilmember Johnson's failure to process the FOIL Request.

Councilmember Johnson was formally selected as the new Council speaker at the first meeting of the new legislative session. His selection had been pre-arranged by U.S. Rep. Joseph Crowley (D-Queens), according to press reports, in a time before Municipal legislators had been sworn into office for the new legislative session.

Controversy over the role of money in politics and some racial strife rose to the fore over the process by which U.S. Rep. Crowley selected a White candidate, Councilmember Johnson, for the speakership. According to reporting published by Progress Queens, Councilmember Johnson may have violated campaign finance and ethics laws in order to win the speakership race.

In addition, Progress Queens filed FOIL Requests seeking the full 2017 calendar records of Councilmembers Daniel Dromm (D-Jackson Heights) and Jimmy Van Bramer (D-Sunnyside). Ms. Barbato, the Council FOIL officer, has acknowledged the FOIL Requests for Councilmember Dromm's and Van Bramer's 2017 calendar records.

Reference Documents