De Blasio FOIL: No record of Findlayter correspondence
Mayor Bill de Blasio’s office has found no records of any emails or written correspondences sent between City Hall staff and the New York Police Department regarding the arrest of a prominent supporter and member of the inauguration committee, Bishop Orlando Findlayter.
Findlayter's Feb. 10 arrest during a routine traffic stop prompted the mayor to personally call a top NYPD spokeswoman, raising questions about the role his office may have played the department's decision not to detain Findlayter, who, in addition to making a left turn without signaling, was driving with expired insurance and had an outstanding warrant for failing to settle a civil disobedience protest.
Capital published a story this morning detailing unexplained delays in the de Blasio administration's response to requests for those records, made under the Freedom of Information Law--a law whose importance de Blasio highlighted in a 2013 survey of city agencies.
According to the Wall Street Journal, which first reported the Findlayter incident, “The mayor's office sent emails to the NYPD officials and Deputy Chief Royster said Mr. de Blasio called her to inquire about the arrest."
On Feb. 12, Capital filed three FOIL requests: one with de Blasio's office, for correspondence between the mayor's staff and the NYPD regarding Findlayter, and two more with the NYPD, seeking similar correspondence, and the arrest report.
Today, after Capital's story was published, de Blasio’s office sent an email at 5:31 p.m. with a letter from Records Access Officer Ian Bassin, who wrote, “A diligent search for the records responsive to your request did not produce any responsive records.”