DON’T BE FOOLED.
The e mail sent out to the e list yesterday by Town Board members is a smokescreen to cover up the improper use of police for political purposes. During my tenure as Town Supervisor I have tried hard to keep the community informed before major actions are taken unless that information jeopardizes the town in any way. The e mail I distributed did not jeopardize our bargaining position.
POLICE SHOULD NOT BE USED FOR POLITICAL PURPOSES- EVER
Yesterday’s statement by the Greenburgh Town Board members does not and can not excuse the fact that the Board adopted a Resolution on April 28, 2006 to authorize a police investigation to purportedly determine who provided e mails to a resident of the Town when I had informed them, as they now admit “prior to the board authorizing the investigation” that I had provided the e mails. The resolution, which in minute detail, claimed to recount the events supporting the investigation, materially and deliberately omitted this disclosure because it would have made it obvious on its face that there was no need for an investigation by Town Board employees or the Police Chief. Also, the e mails in issue, one of which I drafted did not contain, discuss or solicit any legal advice.
As theBoard knew that I had provided the e mails, there was no basis for a criminal investigation to determine if the town’s e mail system had been hacked. If the Board wanted to investigate our computer system they could have conducted the investigation with administrative personnel, not the police. Further, the Freedom of Information Law and its exemptions were inapplicable to this matter because no filing for information had been made and, even if there had been a filing, there was no applicable “present or imminent contract award” exemption as the Board had not decided upon the nature and scope of any proposal. Therefore, the purported legal grounds supporting the resolution were illusory.
None of the e mails were referred to in title or text as being privileged or confidential. In the past, when the Town Attorney’s office wanted e mails to be confidential the Town Attorney’s office has used the following language:
This electronic mail message contains information that (a) is or may be LEGALLY PRIVILEGED, CONFIDIENTIAL, PROPRIETARY IN NATURE, OR OTHERWISE PROTECTED BY LAW FROM DISCLOSURE, AND (b) is intended only for the use of the Addressee(s) named herein. If you are not the intended recipient, an addressee, or the person responsible for delivering this to an addressee, you are hereby notified that reading, using, copying or distributing any part of this message is strictly prohibited. If you have received this electronic mail message in error, please contact us immediately and take the steps necessary to delete the message completely from you computer system.
Susan A. Mancuso TownAttorney Townof Greenburgh
177 Hillside Avenue Greenburgh, New York10607
914.993.1546 fax 914.993.1656
Our Town Attorney did not intend the e mail that I had shared with a resident to be confidential. Otherwise he would have included the above language in it. In addition, the e mail sent to members of the Board was also sent to two non members of the Town Board.
I publicly released the contents of the Police Chief’s findings after giving the Board, the Town Attorney and the Police Chief notice that I would do so if I did not hear from them by a specific time and date. No communication was received by anyone before the time passed. Further, the Police Chief’s report did not contain anywhere on the document the words “privileged and confidential.”
I will continue to do everything I can to obtain the best value for the town in any commercial transaction and I will continue to respect the law and the very important concept of open government. I hope the Board will never again resort to the adoption of Resolutions that misstate the facts and the law and the improper use of the police department for political reasons.