Mayor’s Office FOIA

Here is the recent FOIA we submitted to City of Chicago Mayor’s Office seeking records related Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s Sept. 22, 2016 announcement of his decision to hire 1,000 additional officers to the Chicago Police Department.

In our ongoing litigation with the Chicago Police Department is appears more and more likely that the impetus for the decision came right from Mayor’s Office and had nothing to do with whether or not the CPD actually did some analysis that proved they needed the officers. This seems to be a science free decision that was based on politics that would benefit the Mayor’s Office and not an empirical analysis that prove the hire would benefit the citizens of Chicago.

Here is the FOIA we just submitted a few minutes ago:

Attached are (i) a copy of a press release (the “Press Release”) sent out by the City of Chicago and maintained on your website announcing Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s Public Safety Address dated Sept 22, 2016; and (ii) a copy of Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s Public Safety Address (the “Address”) that he gave on Sept. 22, 2016 announcing his “two-year plan to hire 500 more police officers” (the “Plan”).  In accordance with Definitions and Instructions below and the Illinois Freedom of Information Act, 5 ILCS 140, I request that your office provide the following public records: 

1.     All documents (including electronic documents and communications) referring, regarding or relating to the Address.  Without limiting the scope of this FOIA request in any way, the response to this request should include at a minimum all of the following:

a.     Electronic communications, including emails, to and from Mayor Rahm Emanuel about the Address (including all attachments to such communications and emails), specifically including planning emails, emails regarding the content of the Address, and emails following up on the Address;

b.     Electronic communications, including emails, to and from Janey Rountree, Deputy Chief of Staff for Public Safety about the Address (including all attachments to such communications and emails), specifically including planning emails, emails regarding the content of the Address, and emails following up on the Address;

c.     Non-email electronic communications of any kind, including text messages, voice messages, and instant messages (AOL IM, Facebook Messenger, WeChat, LINE, WhatsApp, and the like) to and from Mayor Rahm Emanuel about the Address;

d.     Non-email electronic communications of any kind, including text messages, voice messages, and instant messages (AOL IM, Facebook Messenger, WeChat, LINE, WhatsApp, and the like) to and from Janey Rountree, Deputy Chief of Staff for Public Safety about the Address;

e.     PowerPoints (draft and final), planning documents, memos, reports, and correspondence regarding the Address;

f.      Analysis, research, or fact-finding that served as the basis for the Address.

2.     All documents (including electronic documents and communications) referring, regarding or relating to the Plan.  Without limiting the scope of this request in any way, the response to this request should include at a minimum all of the following:

a.     Electronic communications, including emails, to and from Mayor Rahm Emanuel about the Plan (including all attachments to such communications and emails), specifically including planning emails, emails regarding the content of the Address, and emails following up on or implementing the Plan;

b.     Electronic communications, including emails, to and from Janey Rountree, Deputy Chief of Staff for Public Safety about the Plan (including all attachments to such communications and emails), specifically including planning emails, emails regarding the content of the Address, and emails following up on or implementing the Plan;

c.     Electronic communications, including emails, to and from Eddie T. Johnson Former Superintendent of the Chicago Police Department about the Plan (including all attachments to such communications and emails), specifically including planning emails, emails regarding the content of the Address, and emails following up on or implementing the Plan;

d.     Non-email electronic communications of any kind, including text messages, voice messages, and instant messages (AOL IM, Facebook Messenger, WeChat, LINE, WhatsApp, and the like) to and from Mayor Rahm Emanuel about the Plan;

e.     Non-email electronic communications of any kind, including text messages, voice messages, and instant messages (AOL IM, Facebook Messenger, WeChat, LINE, WhatsApp, and the like) to and from Janey Rountree, Deputy Chief of Staff for Public Safety about the Plan;

f.      PowerPoints (draft and final), graphics, planning documents, memos, reports, and/or correspondence referring to, regarding or reflecting the Plan;

g.     Analysis, research, or fact-finding that served as the basis for the Plan;

h.     Documents defining the Plan, informing the Chicago Police Department of the contents of the Plan, or instructing the Chicago Police Department to implement the Plan;

i.      Budget(s) for the Plan;

j.      Documents identifying any of the 500 more police officers hired under the Plan;

k.     Documents identifying the assignments (or anticipated assignments) of any of the 500 more police officers hired (or to be hired) under the Plan

l.      Appropriations for the Plan;

m.    Expenditure reports for the Plan;

n.     Payrolls for officers hired under the Plan;

o.     Reports or communications of any kind, any portion of which was authored by Michael Bromwich, relating in any way to the Plan;

p.     Documents or communications to or from the Superintendent of Police regarding the Plan, including Directives of any kind; 

q.     Documents or communications to or from the Chicago City Council, or any of its Aldermen, regarding the Plan;

r.      Documents or communications to or from the Chicago City Treasurer or Treasurer’s Office regarding the Plan;

s.      Documents or communications to or from the Chicago City Clerk or Clerk’s Office regarding the Plan;

t.      Documents or communications to or from the Chicago Police Board regarding the Plan; 

u.     Minutes of and Agendas for any meeting(s) about the Plan;

v.     Inspector General reports regarding the Plan or any portion of the Plan;

w.    Initiative summaries for the Plan;

x.     Policy proposals for the Plan;

y.     Policy research and analysis for the Plan;

z.     Press releases, other than the Press Release as defined below, related to the Plan;

aa.   Entries on the Mayor’s Calendar regarding the Plan; 

bb.  State and federal records and ordinances regarding the Plan;

cc.   Communications with the Federal government, including requests for assistance or funding, for the Plan, including specifically communications to or from US Attorney, FBI, DEA, ATF, and US Marshals regarding the Plan, as referred to in the Address;

dd.  Applications and Bid Packages related in any way to the Plan;

ee.   Anything defining the “new resources to strengthen law enforcement tools” other than the hiring of new officers, as referenced by the Mayor in the Press Release;

ff.    Anything referring or relating to “training and technology to provide police with tools they need to fight crime,” as referenced by the Mayor in the Press Release; and

gg.  Superintendent Johnson’s “strategy for fighting the recent upsurge in gang and gun violence which is integrated into our broader strategy for public safety” as referred to in the Address. 

3.     All documents (including electronic documents and communications) referring, regarding or relating to the Press Release, including drafts thereof.

DEFINITIONS
“Document” and/or “Documents” means any documents or electronically stored information of any kind—including writings, drawings, graphs, charts, photographs, sound recordings, images, and other data or data compilations—stored in any medium from which information can be obtained either directly or, if necessary, after translation by the responding party into a reasonably usable form.

The “Address” means Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s Public Safety Address on Sept. 22, 2016 at Malcom X College. A copy of the Address is attached hereto.

The “Plan” means and refers to Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s “two-year plan to hire 500 more police officers” announced at the Rahm Emanuel speech on Sept. 22, 2016 at Malcom X College.  The Plan is referred to in the Address.

The “Press Release” means the press release sent out by the City of Chicago and maintained on your website announcing Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s Public Safety Address dated Sept 22, 2016.  A copy of the Press Release is attached hereto. 

INSTRUCTIONS
If the agency withholds any document or information pertinent to the requests made herein, please identify the document or information in as much detail as is possible, and detail in specific language why each document or piece of information is being withheld.

If any information requested herein is withheld on the basis of a claim of privilege or other protection as material prepared in anticipation of litigation or trial, then that claim shall be made expressly in a writing that describes the nature of the Documents, Communications, or Things not produced or disclosed in a manner that will enable us to assess the applicability of the privilege or protection. With regard to each claim of privilege or protection, the following information should be provided in the response or the objection:

(a) the type of Document, e.g., letter or memorandum;

(b) general subject matter of the Document;

(c) the date of the Document;

(d) such other information as is sufficient to identify the Document for a subpoena duces tecum, including, where appropriate, the author, addressee, and any other recipient of the Document, and, where not apparent, the relationship of the author, addressee, and any other recipient to each other; and

(e) the nature of the privilege or protection;

(f) if applicable, the litigation or trial of which he document was created in anticipation.

If any Document identified herein has been lost, discarded, or destroyed, each such Document should be identified as completely as possible, including as to each such Document, its date, general nature (e.g., letter, memorandum, telegram, telex, photograph, computer printout), subject matter, each author or originator, each person indicated as an addressee or copy recipient, and its former custodian(s). In addition, as to each such Document, the following information shall be supplied:

(a) date of disposal, loss, or destruction;

(b) manner of disposal, loss, or destruction;

(c) reason for disposal or destruction, or any explanation of loss;

(d) persons authorizing the disposal or destruction;

(e) persons having knowledge of the disposal, destruction, or loss; and

(f) persons who destroyed, lost, or disposed or the Document or Thing.I look forward to hearing from you in writing within five working days, as required by the Act 5 ILCS 140(3).  Please direct all questions or responses to this FOIA request to this email address by responding to this email.    

Updates on Mayor’s Office FOIA

3/13 – The IT department cannot generate this report if there are more than 20 keyword, so I can only give you the report for the Mayor Emanuel/Janey Rountree request. FOIA142_Search 1_search term report

3/5 – I asked DOIT to break down the search by search terms.  I’ll send it out to you when I get it.

3/5 – Tom,

Please provide us with the number of items returned for each search term or phrase so we can consider narrowing the request. Your response as framed provides us no real information for which to make a decision on which terms, if any, we should remove from our request.
Tracy

3/5 – March 5, 2020

Tracy Siska

Chicago Justice Project

Via email at tsiska@chicagojustice.org

Dear Mr. Siska:

On behalf of the City of Chicago Office of the Mayor (“Mayor’s Office”), I am responding to your three Freedom of Information Act (“FOIA”) requests dated February 26, 2020 and received in our offices on the same day. You requested:

Requesting Custodians:          Rahm Emanuel & Janey Rountree

Timeframe:      9/22/15 – 9/22/17

Keywords:  “Additional Officers”  “Mayor’s Announcement”  “Sept. 22, 2016” “New Hires” “Mayor’s Plan” “9/22/16” “one thousand” “September 22, 2016” “Resource Study” “Bromwich Study” “Staffing Analysis” “Manpower” “Allocation Study” “Staffing Study” “Manpower Analysis” “Michael Bromwich”

Your request is unduly burdensome under Section 3(g) of FOIA.  Section 3(g) of FOIA provides that “requests for all records falling within a category shall be complied with unless compliance with the request would be unduly burdensome for the complying public body and there is no way to narrow the request and the burden on the public body outweighs the public interest in the information.”

We ran the email search you requested above; however, there are over 4,100 items responsive to your request.  In order to produce the items responsive to your request, the Mayor’s Office would have to review each item for exempt material.  Even assuming it would only take 1 minute on average to review each item, it would take over 68 hours to respond to your request.  This is a very conservative estimate of the amount of time it would take to respond to this request, and it is very likely that the actual time would be higher.  Additionally, there are varying levels of public interest in the information responsive to this request.  Overall, the burden the request places on the Mayor’s Office outweighs the public interest in the information sought, and the request is unduly burdensome under Section 3(g) of FOIA.

It is necessary that your FOIA request be narrowed and clarified.  If you would like assistance in narrowing your request, please contact me, and I will assist you.  I can provide you with more information about the number of records responsive to each search term. Otherwise, for the reasons provided above, the Mayor’s Office is unable to respond to your FOIA request as currently drafted.

If you agree to narrow your request, you must submit a revised written request to my attention. The Law Department will take no further action or send you any further correspondence unless and until your current request is narrowed in writing.  If we do not receive your narrowed request within fourteen calendar days of the date of this letter, your current request will be denied.

In the event that we do not receive a narrowed request and your current FOIA request is therefore denied, you have the right to have a denial reviewed by the Public Access Counselor (PAC) at the Office of the Illinois Attorney General, 500 S. 2nd Street, Springfield, Illinois 62706, (877) 299-3642. You also have the right to seek judicial review of your denial by filing a lawsuit in Cook County Circuit Court.

Sincerely,

Tom Skelton

FOIA Officer – Mayor’s Office

2/26 – Tom,

Custodians:  Rahm Emanuel & Janey Rountree
Timeframe:      9/22/15 – 9/22/17
Keywords:

  • Additional Officers
  • Mayor’s Announcement
  • Sept. 22, 2016
  • New Hires
  • Mayor’s Plan
  • 9/22/16 
  • one thousand
  • September 22, 2016
  • Resource Study
  • Bromwich Study
  • Staffing Analysis
  • Manpower
  • Allocation Study
  • Staffing Study
  • Manpower Analysis
  • Michael Bromwich

Let me know if you have any questions.
Tracy

2/19 – The Mayor’s Office emailed CJP a request that we be more specific about the custodians of the emails we were seeking, time frame for the search, and keywords we want them to search.

2/16 – We replied to the Mayor’s Office email with basically the same keywords we are having the CPD use for the search of Supt. Eddie Johnson’s emails. Here are the parameters we sent the Mayor’s Office:

Custodians: Rahm Emanuel & Janey Rountree

Timeframe: 9/22/15 – 9/22/17 (this is a year before the announcement & a year after the announcement)

Keywords:

  • Additional Officers
  • Mayor’s Announcement
  • Sept. 22, 2016
  • New Hires
  • Mayor’s Plan
  • 9/22/16
  • one thousand
  • September 22, 2016
  • Resource Study
  • Bromwich Study
  • Staffing Analysis
  • Manpower
  • Allocation Study
  • Staffing Study
  • Manpower Analysis
  • Michael Bromwich

Author: Tracy Siska

Tracy Siska is the Founder and Executive Director of the Chicago Justice Project.

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: