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NYCLU Calls On Mayor To Terminate Giuliani Center Contract

The NYCLU today sent a letter (see below) to Mayor Bloomberg and Corporation Counsel Cardozo urging them to terminate the city’s contract to turn over the archival records of the Giuliani administration to the Giuliani Center for Urban Affairs Inc.

“This 11th hour contract between the Giuliani administration and the Giuliani Center violates the principles of open government embodied in the Freedom Of Information Law and the City Charter. Given the track record of the Giuliani administration in withholding information from the public, one cannot help worrying that the fox is guarding the henhouse,” said NYCLU Executive Director Donna Lieberman.

She added, “One provision of the agreement allows the former mayor to retain veto power over the disclosure of documents he deems ‘personal.’ Another provision allows the Giuliani Center and the City to destroy documents that may be subject to disclosure under FOIL and to avoid judicial review of the decision.”

NYCLU Attorney Beth Haroules added, “The City Charter is clear: documents such as these cannot be transferred without a detailed inventory and they can only be transferred to the official municipal archives under the control of DORIS. This contract violates both of these provisions which are designed to ensure public access.”

“The NYCLU calls on Mayor Bloomberg to recognize this contract for what it is — a contract to sign away the public’s right to know — and accord it the same treatment as the Decency Commission! This is an opportunity for Mayor Bloomberg to set a tone of open government in the new administration. It would be a welcome change.”

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