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CRESPOGRAM REPORT

NOVEMBER 7, 2012

TOO CUTE BY HALF
THE GATEKEEPER OF THE CITY’S PUBLIC RECORDS IS THE IDIOT OF THE CITY. WHAT COULD POSSIBLY GO WRONG
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November 6, 2012


Mr. Angel Zayon

Chief of Communications

City of Miami

444 SW 2nd Avenue

Miami, F; 33130


Dear Mr. Zayon:


This is in response to your email to me below, and references the string of emails that follow your email to me.


ISSUE NUMBER 1


On October 28, 2012, I wrote Mr. Henry Torre, and made a public records request to HIM.  I DID NOT make a similar public records request to anyone else.


Somehow, in notifying you of my public records request to Mr. Torre, who is the custodian of records for the documents in the Facilities Department, this request was expanded by YOU to include the following individuals"


From: Office of Communications, City of Miami

Sent: Monday, October 29, 2012 9:42 AM

To: Pascual, Juan; Torre, Henry; Sarnoff, Marc (Commissioner)

Cc: Zayon, Angel; Novell, Francis; Plasencia, William; Nelson, Ron


I never wrote to any of those people, YOU DID.  Therefore, your claim that I have to pay $130.00 for a records search that YOU initiated, is at the very least mistaken.


Secondly, shortly after making my initial request to Mr. Torre, I informed him that rather than just purchasing all of the documents, I wished to review the documents available as a way to cut down on my collection of city documents that are beginning to take up to much space.


He acknowledged that change in my request, and it was only yesterday, when I discovered the string of correspondence initiated by you that had occurred after I wrote Mr. Torre, that I became curious as to why, since the request had been forwarded from him to you, and then you, on YOUR OWN deciding that all of these other individuals should be copied and documents from them requested,  why  no one in Commissioner Sarnoff's office had done so. That is why I went to the Commissioner's office to speak to Mr. Plasencia.


I must in passing, point out that  the reason for my curiosity was that Mr. Torre had had no difficulty in responding to my request in the allotted period of time.


So, since YOU took it on your own to request documents from these other folks, it is YOUR responsibility - NOT MINE - to see to it that the documents you requested are provided to you.


ISSUE NUMBER II


It seems that there has been a recent effort to increase the amount of the costs associated with the search for emails by the IT Department.  The original cost of $70 has now been arbitrarily increased to $130.


Given that there has been no documented record of why this increase has taken place - and in fact when I challenged that cost recently, it was reduced to $70, I must request a specific cost itemization as to what is involved in the attempt to charge $130 for these record searches.


In fact, given that all of this is conducted with the Microsoft Outlook mail program, and the input of information requires less than 2 or 3 minutes of staff time to accomplish, and that the copy/paste procedure involved in creating a folder for copying also requires another 2 or 3 minutes, where the justification exists for any Special Service charge.


Therefore, although I have asked for this information in the past and have been rebuffed, I am asking for the complete. detailed itemization of the actions/ times and associated costs for a email search from the IT Department.


I am addressing this request to you because you are the one who demands this payment.


ISSUE NUMBER III


I think that the time has come to challenge yours and the City's abuse of the Florida Constitution and the Florida' Public Records Law.


The law is very clear that ALL public records requests should be made to the custodian of records in the agency, department or office where the documents are kept.


Yesterday, when I went to Facilities Management, the documents I had requested - emails - had been printed out by the custodian of records of that Department, and I was able to sit down, review them, and select the ones that I wanted to purchase.


Other Departments in the City operate the same way.  They do it this way, because that's the way that the law says it should be done.


This nonsense of my making a public records request to a Department in the City, it then having that request being forwarded to you, and you in turn - since you are the custodian of NO documents other than the ones in you office -  turning around and sending these requests to IT, or back to those agencies for a response, with the attendant bogus Special Service charges, runs both counter to the law, and constitutes little more than a veiled effort at harassing individuals making public records requests.


It is the responsibility of the custodian of the records in the various city departments to retrieve the documents requested in the fastest, most expeditious manner, and not through some ring-around-the-rosy process that requires additional and unnecessary steps and costs.


IN CONCLUSION


So, to sum this up.  YOU, NOT ME, made a public records request to Commissioner Sarnoff and his staff, regarding documents and emails related to the Flatiron development. 


Since I did not ask Mr. Torre, YOU, or the Commissioner and his staff for his records, the costs associated with retrieving them from the Commissioner and his staff are YOURS and YOURS alone!


Therefore when YOU receive those documents, this is my public records request to come to your office, and review those documents to see whether they include any documents that I may wish to purchase.


And one more thing.  Please make sure that when the Commissioner and his staff comply with YOUR request that they include ALL the emails.  I get cranky when I discover that documents that should be part of the record are no longer there, and in this case, I knew which documents I wanted to get my hot little hands on when I made my request to Mr. Torre.


The documents were not in the ones I was provided by Facilities Management, and I will be really cranky if they turn out NOT to be in the Commissioner's.


I will look forward to your informing me when YOU have received the documents YOU requested.


Thank you,


al crespo


PS:  If you decide to run for office in the near future, please let me know, I'll be more than happy to give you my special endorsement.





Access to public records has always been the Achilles heel of corrupt public officials, and that has been true in the City of Miami, where I’ve been fortunate to uncover scummy deal after scummy deal solely on the strength of being able to get my hands on public records.


It took a while for the folks in Regaladoland to realize the damage that open access to public records could produce, but once they figured it out, they’ve gone to extraordinary lengths to try and limit both access to those records, and to engage in numerous strategies intended to thwart or circumvent the law.


Today, the use of private emails to conduct public business has become the number one strategy.  Commissioner “Ethics” Sarnoff, as in all things corrupt leads the pack with at least 6 separate email addresses that he uses for this purpose.


The use of cellphone texting has also grown exponentially, and the tried and true method of communicating face to face remains the safest way that some of these people have decided will keep their actions secret.


But, not all actions or decisions or communications can remain secret, so last year the City instituted a couple new APM’s intended to drastically choke off the unfettered access to public records, and the decision was made to make Angel Zayon the gatekeeper.


Below is a copy of a letter that I sent to Mr. Zayon yesterday, which addresses his performance as the gatekeeper, and laying the ground work for possible future legal action against the City.

It’s Miami, Bitches!