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Is it correct to reject a FOIL request for a county attorney's resignation letter under Section 87 2.b. of the Public Officers Law, and should I appeal?

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QUESTION

I just received a rejection of a FOIL request I had sent earlier this week. Our county attorney recently resigned very quietly, and I filed a request for his resignation letter. I was turned away on the basis of “This information is being withheld pursuant to Section 87 2.b. of the Public Officers Law.”
 
I’ve certainly gotten other letters of resignation or retirement through FOIL before, so I think they’re wrong to reject this. I intend to file an appeal, but wanted to check with you first to see if I’m barking up the wrong tree. 

Answer

Resignation letters are a record that should be provided pursuant to a FOIL request.
 
Below are two opinions from the Committee on Open Government, which are on point.
 
 
“… the three page letter of resignation
constituted a “record” subject to the Freedom of Information Law.”
 
“The letter of resignation was given to Town officials in their
capacities as Town officials. To suggest that it is not a record
subject to the Freedom of Information Law would in my opinion
clearly conflict with the interpretation of that statute by the
State’s highest court.”
 
While government officials have privacy rights, they have less of a privacy right than the general public.
 
 
“It is clear that public officers and employees enjoy a lesser degree of privacy than others, for it has been found in various contexts that those persons are required to be more accountable than others.”
 
Below are some recent news articles which mention a resignation letter being released through a FOIl request.
 
Otsego School Supt
 
Grand Island Court
 
Cattaraugus County DA