As a follow-up to our last post, we have video of Mr. Robert J. Freeman, Executive Director of NY State's Committee on Open Gov't, explaining at a public forum that it's against the state's Freedom of Information Law for a municipality's FOIL Records Access Officer to also serve as an Appeals Officer. The rub being, it's patently unfair for the one who denies information to another to then sit in judgement as to the righteousness of that denial. A conflict of interest–and as you will see from the video–a direct violation of state law being practiced by Harris-Beach's Kristen Kelley Wilson (pictured above) on a daily basis for the City of Rye.
Ms. Wilson is well aware of the legal conflict-of-interest she's engaged in–as she's refused to address the issue with us for months now. Her contract with the city, signed by Mayor F. can be viewed here, see item 5, page 1.
Councilwoman Laura Brett–who was in attendance at Mr. Freeman's March 8th meeting held in the Rye Free Reading Room–is singled out in the video by Mr. Freeman who says, "I guarantee you that she will attempt to do something about it, right?"
"Yes," says Ms. Brett.
It would seem the solution would be to... follow the law.
Through Freedom of Information requests, LD10580 has gained information that's helped prove Mayor French's rental property was illegal, that he received improper school tax exemptions, that he didn't pay his state tax income taxes, and a plethora of other goodies. Who would want to thwart all this good stuff, the truth, from coming out?
We've never appealed a denial of access to information from Ms. Wilson, of which there are many, for obvious reasons. Instead, we just explore other avenues from which to get at the truth.
Ms. Wilson, an officer of the court, continues to flout the law in broad daylight–denying the public's access to information and arrogantly telling them if they wish to appeal her decision–to her, in violation of the law–that they have 10 days, under to the law, to do so.
Mr. Scott Pickup, who will forever stand accused of concelaing public records, and who still hasn't posted the 2011 Annual Report (now 5 months past due according to the City Charter) is the chief Records Access Officer for the City of Rye.
According to the city's FOIL procedures, "The City Manager shall be the Records Access Officer responsible for assuring compliance with these regulations."