A "conclusory affidavit" by the custodian of the records that are the target of a FOIL request insufficient to trigger a FOIL "statutory exception"

A "conclusory affidavit" by the custodian of the records that are the target of a FOIL request insufficient to trigger a FOIL "statutory exception" Matter of Capital Newspapers Div. of the Hearst Corp. v City of Albany, 2010 NY Slip Op 05704, Decided on July 1, 2010, Court of Appeals The Court of Appeals held that the City of Albany failed to meet its burden of demonstrating that the records sought by Capital Newspapers pursuant to a FOIL request were "personnel records "or police officers within the meaning of Civil Rights Law §50-a. The court found that the police chief's "conclusory affidavit" did not establish that the documents were "used to evaluate performance toward continued employment or promotion," as required by that statute. Accordingly, said the court, the unredacted gun tags do not fall squarely within a statutory exemption and are subject to disclosure under the Freedom of Information Law (FOIL) (see Public Officers Law § 87 [2]). The decision is posted on the Internet at: http://www.courts.state.ny.us/reporter/3dseries/2010/2010_05704.htm

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