Wednesday, September 4, 2019

Middletown Eye Retracts FOI Article As a Result of Complaint By Daley About Factual Errors.

Common Council member, and candidate for Common Council on the challenge slate, Gerry Daley filed an official complaint with the Middletown Eye that the characterization of the findings, and Daley's involvement in the findings misrepresented the facts.

He has demanded a retraction because of the factual errors.

The Eye has always sought accuracy, and so has withdrawn the article because it incorrectly stated that Daley was a legal party to the preliminary findings by the FOI complaint filed by Mayor Dan Drew.  He was not cited in the original findings as reported.

He was, however, addressed in a set of separate preliminary findings by the Freedom of Information Commission that are related to the same case and were inadvertently omitted from the post.  In one of his complaints, Daley sought information relating to the "times and locations of meetings that occurred between employees and attorneys at LeClairRyan."  The FOI has found in its preliminary findings, in this case,  that the information contained in the invoices sought by Daley are not exempt from disclosure and that Daley should be provided with the invoices with names of clients redacted.

In a third preliminary finding on the same issue, an FOI complaint made by Daley against the Town Clerk, and the director of Information Technology for the city, seeking all emails addressed to attorneys at LeClairRyan from city servers, Daley withdrew his complaint after the original hearing, and the FOI has dismissed the complaint.

The article has been withdrawn because it implied that the FOI judgement was final.  It is not.  They are preliminary findings.  As the article stated, the FOI will have a hearing on a final determination on September 11.  The hearings on Daley's complaints will be heard on the same day.

The article has been  also been withdrawn because it stated that Mayor Drew and Daley spent months and $42,000 pursuing the identities  and information about confidential complainants against the city and the mayor.  In fact, the money was spent by the city on legal fees to defend two Council members against accusations that they were withholding information they considered confidential, from the public.

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