Democratic Caucus of the Monroe County Legislature

County LDCs Ignore Open Records Law

Charlsey BickettComment

Rochester, New York — July 10, 2014.  On April 30, nearly 70 days ago, Legislator Paul Haney (D-Rochester) submitted FOIL requests to two of the county-created local development corporations (LDCs). It was, however, never responded to or even acknowledged. Democrats in Monroe County Legislature are therefore calling on the two LDCs to immediately comply with the New York State Freedom of Information Law (FOIL), which requires an acknowledgement of the request within five days of receipt and, in most cases, a substantive response within twenty days.

In his letters addressed to the Upstate Telecommunications Corp. and Monroe Security and Safety Systems LDC Records Access Officers, Legislator Haney requested all records related to the cancellation or early termination of the LDC contracts with Navitech Services Corporation. Both the LDCs and Navitech are central to criminal charges now proceeding through court against four individuals, including former public officials.

The law is clear,” Legislator Haney said. “These requests should have been acknowledged within five days and we should have received the records we requested twenty days after filing the request. Instead, the requests were wholly ignored. That is unacceptable and contrary to the public interest. Our residents deserve to know the details—and see the records showing those details—regarding thecancelling of these enormous publicly funded contracts. I am requesting that the new Board President immediately work with his staff to ensure all applicable laws are adhered to.”

“For many months, the Brooks’ Administration has denied our requests for information and told us to file FOIL requests instead,” Democratic Leader Carrie Andrews (D-Rochester) said. “Although it is not appropriate to require a County Legislator to file a FOIL request to get information, Legislator Haney did so anyway, and now we know the result: more of the same. I would have hoped for a more open, transparent process, especially in light of the circumstances surrounding these LDCs.”

Please find the original requests attached. The next UTC Board meeting will take place at 9:00am today, followed by the M3S Board meeting at 10:30am. Both meetings will be held in the Ebenezer Watts Building at 47 South Fitzhugh Street in Rochester.