For Immediate Release:
May 17, 2017
FME Law Plans to Appeal New York FOIL Decision Not to Allow Review of Records Shared Between NY AG, Tom Steyer, Rockefeller Interests, and other Top Donors and Activists
Today, in litigation under New York’s Freedom of Information Law (FOIL) Justice Manuel Mendez of the New York County Supreme (trial-level) Court refused to look at records shared between the New York Attorney General’s Office and donors/activists such as Tom Steyer (through his employee Erin Suhr) and the director of the Rockefeller Family Fund. This ruling came against the Free Market Environmental Law Clinic (FME Law) and numerous New York Citizens’ Groups in their request to view the correspondence which NY OAG acknowledges discuss collaboration on his “climate-RICO” campaign.
That campaign, as news coverage over the past fourteen months has exposed, was against opponents of a political agenda, which is also admitted in documents obtained from AG offices that, unlike New York, have not stonewalled the public’ right to know about this scheme. The Eric Schneiderman-led coalition of activist AGs was expressly formed to “ensur[e] that the promises made in Paris become reality” (referring to the Paris climate treaty never submitted to the US Senate for approval), rather than a legitimate law enforcement investigation.
In ruling against FME and the New York citizens, the court refused to review the records in camera to see whether the identified correspondence could actually, somehow be privileged as sensitive “law enforcement” investigative material. These emails with activists, apparently (by the fact they satisfied the request’s search terms) discussed Rockefeller’s investigative consultant-activists, for months leading up to the “climate RICO” subpoenas being issued.
Further, the court refused to view the recent decision in which Texas Federal Judge Kinkeade wrote that, given the very troubling appearances, the Attorneys General involved should welcome disclosure of the requested records to assure the public that they were not in fact part of an improper political campaign.
FME Law expects to appeal, pointing out to the appellate court that the AG’s own privilege log as well as other documents obtained from non-stonewalling state AG offices confirm the emails reflect the political pursuit of political opponents of the ‘climate’ political agenda.
“The judge’s refusal to examine those records in camera, or to even consider the recent decision of his fellow judge from Texas, renders this reversible error,” said Chaim Mandelbaum, FME Law Executive Director. “As such, FME expects to appeal in the coming weeks.”