The New York Post has settled a landmark lawsuit charging that the city Department of Education routinely violated the state Freedom of Information Law.
Under the settlement, the DOE not only turned over public records it had withheld for up to 20 months, but agreed to reform what The Post called a “pattern and practice” of endless delays and stonewalling.
After lengthy negotiations with Post lawyers, the DOE agreed to revise its FOIL rules to halt the indefinite postponements — and stick to reasonable deadlines. New guidelines were approved in November.
“We are very pleased that the DOE has acknowledged The Post’s significant contribution to amending the Chancellor’s Regulations, and more importantly that DOE has taken corrective action that we hope will improve its response to freedom of information requests,” said Post lawyer Jeremy Chase, who led the talks.
The Post, which may now seek reimbursement of attorney fees, sued in August 2016, challenging the DOE’s claim that it could sit on public records as long as it sent a monthly letter extending its own deadlines.