Mar 172014
 

Last October, suspecting that multiple City of Seattle departments were flouting a law passed in 2013 that restricts their acquisition and use of surveillance equipment, I requested public records that would exist had those departments complied. Processing of my request was unsatisfactory (possibly unlawful), so I requested and received the administrative tracking file for that request. E-mail messages in that file reveal that rather than simply searching for and providing responsive records, staff at Seattle Legislative Department deferred to Seattle Police Department (SPD) staff on whether to withhold from the public some records which were communicated to City Council by SPD. These messages also show that processing of my and other people’s requests was coordinated by staff at the City Attorney’s Office “[i]n order to ensure that the Mayor’s Office, SPD, and the Law Department provide consistent responses to the requests.”

In March of 2013, after learning that SPD had misled them and avoided oversight by using federal “port security” grant money to purchase equipment the department used to erect a surveillance network that stretched well beyond view of the Port of Seattle and waterways leading to it, Seattle City Council passed a bill that required all city departments to request and receive permission from City Council prior to any acquisition of a variety of surveillance equipment, as well as to receive approval of proposed protocol for use of that equipment. Departments that had previously acquired such equipment were required to submit the same protocol information within 30 days of passage of the bill.

More than five months after these protocols were due by law to have been provided to City Council, I had heard nothing indicating that any such protocols had, in fact, been provided. So, in early October, I filed with City Council a request for any such records:

Pursuant to RCW Ch. 42.56 (Public Records Act), I hereby request the following records:

Surveillance equipment operational protocols and surveillance equipment data management protocols provided to City Council since enactment of Seattle ordinance number 124142, including all draft and final versions received.

Processing of my request dragged on for months. A records clerk for the Legislative Department provided a final response on February 26, 2014, more than 20 weeks after I requested the records. In the end, multiple responsive records were identified, but I was granted access to only one of them. The others were withheld in full, with the exemption log citing RCW 42.56.280 as the reason for withholding two computer files, “Word Document titled: 20130508 Wireless Mesh Camera Policy DRAFT 9” from Greg Doss at SPD, and “Word Document: titled 20130613 Wireless Mesh Camera Policy (to CM Harrell)” from SPD Chief Jim Pugel.

This exemption to the Washington Public Records Act applies to certain deliberative records, as described by Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press:

i. Deliberative Process. This exemption allows nondisclosure of intra-agency deliberative materials. RCW 42.56.280. Inter-agency materials are not exempt. Columbian Publishing Co. v. City of Vancouver, 36 Wn. App. 25, 671 P.2d 280 (1983). The exemption applies to opinions, such as faculty tenure evaluations, Hafermehl v. University of Wash., 29 Wn. App. 366, 628 P.2d 846 (1981), but does not include purely factual matters, Hearst Corp. v. Hoppe, 90 Wn.2d 123, 580 P.2d 246 (1978), or the raw data on which a decision is based. PAWS, 125 Wn.2d at 256. Deliberative materials are exempt only until the policies or recommendations contained in such records are implemented. Dawson v. Daly, 120 Wn.2d 782, 793, 845 P.2d 995 (1993).

The records withheld from me were apparently inter-agency materials provided by Seattle Police Department to Seattle City Council.

Dissatisfied with the processing of my request, baffled by the months of delay, and having received no response to multiple requests for information about that processing, on the following day, February 27, 2014, I requested the administrative tracking file for my October request:

Pursuant to RCW Ch. 42.56 (Public Records Act), I hereby request the following records:

Administrative tracking file for public records request number 2013-180 (your identifier for a request filed October 8, 2013, by me, Phil Mocek, for surveillance equipment operational and data management protocols), and all e-mail, memoranda, and records of phone calls created in the processing of that request, and related metadata.

I received records that purportedly comprise that entire tracking file in two installments: one on March 6 and another on March 13. They consisted of about 30 e-mail messages and one image of a hand-written note. The e-mail messages were helpfully provided as RFC 2822 files (as opposed to scans of printed messages, screen shot images, etc.), devoid of redaction.

For ease of processing those messages (e.g., sorting, reviewing, decoding non-ASCII portions, extracting only certain header fields, saving attachments, etc.), I imported each into Thunderbird using the ImportExportTools extension. I saved them to a plain text file, separated each message, pulled out TOFU-quoted messages that were not, themselves, provided to me, then re-sorted the whole thing.

Following are those messages, interleaved with my comments, beginning with my request of October 8, 2013. I obscured the e-mail addresses slightly and truncated some message bodies (largely to remove lengthy quotes of previously-sent messages), but left them otherwise intact. They provide a view of the length to which the Legislative Department, Police Department, and City Attorney’s Office, went in order to prevent public access to public records, particularly the two inter-agency communications from Greg Doss and from Jim Pugel that were withheld in full.

Date: Tue, 8 Oct 2013 09:17:49 -0700
From: 7025-96997557(AT)requests.muckrock.com
To: "Winkler, Jennifer" <Jennifer.Winkler(AT)seattle.gov>
CC: LEG_CouncilMembers <council(AT)seattle.gov>
Subject: Freedom of Information Request: Surveillance equipment operational
    and data management protocols

Pursuant to RCW Ch. 42.56 (Public Records Act), I hereby request the following
records:

Surveillance equipment operational protocols and surveillance equipment data
management protocols provided to City Council since enactment of Seattle
ordinance number 124142, including all draft and final versions received.

As you know, council bill 117730, passed unanimously by City Council on March
18, 2013, signed by Mayor Mike McGinn on March 26, 2013, and enacted as
ordinance number 124142, required:

    1. That each City department operating surveillance equipment prior to the
    effective date of the ordinance, for which City Council had not previously
    approved protocols by ordinance, to propose written propose written
    operational protocols consistent with SMC 14.18.20 no later than thirty
    days following the effective date of the ordinance for Council review and
    approval by ordinance

    2. That each department operating surveillance equipment prior to the
    effective date of the ordinance to adopt written data management protocols
    consistent with SMC 14.18.30 no later than thirty days following the
    effective date of this ordinance and submit these protocols to the City
    Council for review and possible approval by ordinance.

More than five months have passed since the date by which City departments were
required by law to provide City Council with the records I request.

I also request that, if appropriate, fees be waived as I believe this request
is in the public interest. The requested documents will be made available to
the general public free of charge as part of the public information service at
MuckRock.com, processed by a representative of the news media/press and is made
in the process of news gathering and not for commercial usage.

In the event that fees cannot be waived, I would be grateful if you would
inform me of the total charges in advance of fulfilling my request. I would
prefer the request filled electronically, by e-mail attachment if available or
CD-ROM if not.

Thank you in advance for your anticipated cooperation in this matter. I look
forward to receiving your response to this request within 5 business days, as
the statute requires.

Sincerely,
Phil Mocek

I botched some of the background information included in my request (points #1 and #2, the summary of requirements of Ordinance 124142), but that did not affect my description of the records I requested.

This was a simple request. City Council made a law requiring other departments to provide to them certain records, and I requested those records from City Council five months after they were due. One would expect the records clerk to contact the sponsor of the bill to find out who was charged with managing collection of the records for which it called, then for a legislative aide at that office to pull a file folder, scan its content, and e-mail it back to the records clerk for forwarding to me. This would involve maybe 30 minutes of work, and with delays in communication, might take a week to complete.

I received a response within five business days, as the law requires. Jennifer Winkler of Seattle Legislative Department responded on behalf of City Council, reporting that various staff had “begun the process of determining whether or not [their offices held] responsive records.” She provided a date six weeks in the future by which I would receive either an installment of records I requested or a status update. She provided no explanation of how she arrived at the six-week figure.

Date: Tue, 15 Oct 2013 15:49:30 -0700
From: "Winkler, Jennifer" <Jennifer.Winkler(AT)seattle.gov>
To: 7025-96997557(AT)requests.muckrock.com
CC: "Johnson, Sharon" <Sharon.Johnson(AT)seattle.gov>
Subject: PRR2013-180 - Surveillance equipment protocols

RE:  Public Records Request No. 2013-180

Dear Mr. Mocek:

The Legislative Department, which includes the Seattle City Council, Office of
the City Clerk and Central Staff, has begun the process of determining whether
or not it holds responsive records.  Our office will contact you on or before
November 22, 2013 with an installment of responsive records or a status update
on your request.  Of course if we complete our search sooner, any responsive
records will be made available at that time.

Please feel free to contact me directly with any questions or concerns.

Sincerely,
Jennifer Winkler
On behalf of Sharon Johnson, CPRO, MPS

Nine days later, Ms. Winkler e-mailed 20 people at City of Seattle, several of whom I recognize as legislative aides to City Council members, about my request. She requested that they perform searches for records responsive to my request. Along with her request, she provided some suggestions for search strategy, directions for how to respond, and a deadline for response of November 6, a bit less than two weeks later.

Date: Thu, 24 Oct 2013 15:39:03 -0700
From: "Winkler, Jennifer" <Jennifer.Winkler(AT)seattle.gov>
To: "Nyland, Kathy" <Kathy.Nyland(AT)seattle.gov>,
    "Pulliam, Tobias" <Tobias.Pulliam(AT)seattle.gov>,
    "Brown, LaTonya" <LaTonya.Brown(AT)seattle.gov>,
    "Ko, Elaine" <Elaine.Ko(AT)seattle.gov>,
    "Bauhs, Bailey" <Bailey.Bauhs(AT)seattle.gov>,
    "Tang, Vinh" <Vinh.Tang(AT)seattle.gov>,
    "Aldrich, Newell" <Newell.Aldrich(AT)seattle.gov>,
    "Morris, Rashad" <Rashad.Morris(AT)seattle.gov>,
    "Smith, Rose" <Rose.Smith(AT)seattle.gov>,
    "Serna, Susana" <Susana.Serna(AT)seattle.gov>
CC: "Rehrmann, Lily" <Lily.Rehrmann(AT)seattle.gov>,
    "Van Duzer, Nate" <Nate.VanDuzer(AT)seattle.gov>,
    "Yeaworth, David" <David.Yeaworth(AT)seattle.gov>,
    "Shulman, Phyllis" <Phyllis.Shulman(AT)seattle.gov>,
    "Caldirola-Davis, Carlo" <Carlo.Davis(AT)seattle.gov>,
    "Samuels, Jennifer" <Jennifer.Samuels(AT)seattle.gov>,
    "Herbold, Lisa" <Lisa.Herbold(AT)seattle.gov>,
    "Fogt, Josh" <Josh.Fogt(AT)seattle.gov>,
    "Hawksford, Brian" <Brian.Hawksford(AT)seattle.gov>,
    "Noble, Ben" <Ben.Noble(AT)seattle.gov>
Subject: PRR 2013-180 - Surveillance Camera protocols

DUE DATE:  Noon November 6, 2013.
Date Range:  March 26, 2103  to October 8, 2013

Please ensure you conduct a diligent search of ALL records.  Thus, please
document the name of each file folder and or location you search, including
meeting notes and handwritten notes.  A list of search terms is included to
assist you.  Each of the listed terms must be searched.  Please note the list
is not exhaustive and you should add additional terms to follow obvious leads
as they are uncovered that is likely to turn up additional sources for the
records requested.

SEARCH TERMS: surveillance cameras, protocols, 124142

REQUEST:
    Surveillance equipment operational protocols and surveillance equipment
    data management protocols provided to City Council since enactment of
    Seattle ordinance number 124142, including all draft and final versions
    received.

Upon completion of your search and production of records, complete the attached
search form and return to me electronically.  Please appropriately mark the
locations searched and the search terms used in the fields noted, including
recording the amount of time you spent on filling this request in the field
marked "Hours Worked."

Kind regards,
Jennifer
On behalf of Sharon Johnson, CPRO, MPS

    [ATTACHED: Surveillance Camera protocols.xlsx]

This message suggests that Ms. Winkler’s report to me nine days earlier, on October 15, that a process had been initiated to determine whether or not various offices held responsive records was false. I have seen no indication, in the administrative tracking file or elsewhere, that any work toward location of responsive records was performed between filing of my request on October 8 and her e-mail to other staff on October 24.

It’s interesting that Ms. Winkler directed those who were to search for records to limit the date range of the search so that it ended on the date of my request. I would expect to receive any responsive records that existed at the time someone searched for them, even if those records were not available at the time of my request but became available between the time I filed the request and the time at which someone finally got around to searching. This seems particularly significant in a situation like this one, when the search did not start until weeks after the request was filed.

I did not receive any of the completed search forms Ms. Winkler directed other staff to return to her. Nor did I receive any index of these forms or compilation of reports of the time each respondent spent working on his or her search. I do not know if it is typical for such records to be included in an administrative file, but it seems logical that they would be.

On October 30, MuckRock sent an automatically-generated request for status update:

Date: Wed, 30 Oct 2013 02:00:57 -0700
From: 7025-96997557(AT)requests.muckrock.com
To: "Winkler, Jennifer" <Jennifer.Winkler(AT)seattle.gov>
CC: "Johnson, Sharon" <Sharon.Johnson(AT)seattle.gov>
Subject: Follow up to Freedom of Information Request #2013-180

I wanted to follow up on the following Freedom of Information request, copied
below, and originally submitted on Oct. 8, 2013. Please let me know when I can
expect to receive a response, or if further clarification is needed.  You had
assigned it reference number #2013-180.

On November 5, Ms. Winkler e-mailed an update, reporting that a search was underway and reiterating her earlier estimate of November 22 for a first installment or further update on status:

Date: Tue, 5 Nov 2013 10:14:04 -0800
From: "Winkler, Jennifer" <Jennifer.Winkler(AT)seattle.gov>
To: 7025-96997557(AT)requests.muckrock.com
CC: "Johnson, Sharon" <Sharon.Johnson(AT)seattle.gov>
Subject: RE: Follow up to Freedom of Information Request #2013-180

Mr. Mocek,

We have received and acknowledged your request, please see the attached email
for your acknowledgement letter.   We are currently searching the records of
the Legislative Department for potentially responsive documents and will
provide you with an installment of records or status update on November 22,
2013 as the attached indicates.

Jennifer

    [ATTACHED: ForwardedMessage.eml]

On November 20, an auto-generated request for status update was sent:

Date: Wed, 20 Nov 2013 02:00:13 -0800
From: 7025-96997557(AT)requests.muckrock.com
To: "Winkler, Jennifer" <Jennifer.Winkler(AT)seattle.gov>
CC: "Johnson, Sharon" <Sharon.Johnson(AT)seattle.gov>
Subject: Follow up to Freedom of Information Request #2013-180

I wanted to follow up on the following Freedom of Information request, copied
below, and originally submitted on Oct. 8, 2013. Please let me know when I can
expect to receive a response, or if further clarification is needed.  You had
assigned it reference number #2013-180.

On November 22, Ms. Winkler reported that the search for responsive records had concluded, that a review of unspecified documents had begun, and that no responsive records had yet been found. She provided a new due-date of December 6, by which I was to be contacted with either an installment of responsive records or a status update:

Date: Fri, 22 Nov 2013 13:57:44 -0800
From: "Winkler, Jennifer" <Jennifer.Winkler(AT)seattle.gov>
To: 7025-96997557(AT)requests.muckrock.com
CC: "Johnson, Sharon" <Sharon.Johnson(AT)seattle.gov>
Subject: PRR 2013-180 - Surveillance Cameras - status update

RE:  Public Records Request No. 2013-180

Dear Mr. Mocek:

In accordance with RCW 42.56.520, this e-mail is to provide you with a status
update  of your Public Records Request dated October 8, 2013 and received by
the Legislative Department same date,  whereby you request the following:

    Surveillance equipment operational protocols and surveillance equipment
    data management protocols provided to the City Council since enactment of
    Seattle ordinance number 124142, including all drafts and final versions.

The Legislative Department has concluded its search for responsive records and
has begun reviewing documents.   At this time there are no documents responsive
to your request in the document sets we have reviewed.    We continue to review
the remaining document sets for responsive documents. Our office will contact
you on or before December 6th, 2013 with an installment of responsive records
or a status update on your request.  Of course if we complete our search
sooner, any responsive records will be made available at that time.

Please feel free to contact me directly with any questions or concerns.

Jennifer Winkler
On Behalf of Sharon Johnson

I do not know how searching differs from reviewing in this context. In my mind, the search for responsive records consists almost entirely of reviewing known records.

On December 7, an auto-generated request for status update was sent:

Date: Sat, 7 Dec 2013 02:00:09 -0800
From: Phil Mocek <7025-96997557(AT)requests.muckrock.com>
To: "Winkler, Jennifer" <Jennifer.Winkler(AT)seattle.gov>
CC: "Johnson, Sharon" <Sharon.Johnson(AT)seattle.gov>
Subject: RE: Freedom of Information Request #2013-180

I wanted to follow up on the following Freedom of Information request, copied
below, and originally submitted on Oct. 8, 2013. Please let me know when I can
expect to receive a response, or if further clarification is needed.  You had
assigned it reference number #2013-180.

On December 10, more than two months since receipt of my request, Ms. Winkler reported precisely the same things she had reported on November 22 and provided a new date by which I would receive either an installment of responsive records or another status update: December 20. There was no explanation of what changed, causing the revised estimate that nearly doubled the time dedicated to this phase of processing my request.

Date: Tue, 10 Dec 2013 15:37:47 -0800
From: "Winkler, Jennifer" <Jennifer.Winkler(AT)seattle.gov>
To: 7025-96997557(AT)requests.muckrock.com
Subject: RE: PRR 2013-180 - Surveillance Cameras - status update #2

RE:  Public Records Request No. 2013-180

Dear Mr. Mocek:

In accordance with RCW 42.56.520, this e-mail is to provide you with a status
update  of your Public Records Request dated October 8, 2013 and received by
the Legislative Department same date,  whereby you request the following:

    Surveillance equipment operational protocols and surveillance equipment
    data management protocols provided to the City Council since enactment of
    Seattle ordinance number 124142, including all drafts and final versions.

The Legislative Department has concluded its search for responsive records and
has begun reviewing documents.   At this time there are no documents responsive
to your request in the document sets we have reviewed.    We continue to review
the remaining document sets for responsive documents. Our office will contact
you on or before December 20, 2013 with an installment of responsive records or
a status update on your request.  Of course if we complete our search sooner,
any responsive records will be made available at that time.

Please feel free to contact me directly with any questions or concerns.

Jennifer Winkler
On Behalf of Sharon Johnson

On December 19, 72 days since I filed my request and one day prior to the next self-imposed due date for city staff, Ms. Winkler e-mailed two Seattle Police Department records clerks, Sheila Friend-Gray and Bonnie Voegele.

Sent: Thursday, December 19, 2013 2:17 PM
From: Winkler, Jennifer
To: Friend-Gray, Sheila
Cc: Voegele, Bonnie
Subject: PDR for surveillance camera protocols

Hi Sheila,

Phil Mocek sent us a PDR for any policies or procedures provided to the Council
for compliance with Ordinance 124142 (which states that all surveillance camera
networks in the City must be reviewed by Council prior to implementation).   We
have found that SPD submitted information to the members of the Public Safety ,
Civil Rights, and Technology Committee a few months ago, which fits into the
timeframe for the request.  However, it does not appear that they have been
formerly presented to the Council as of yet.

Do you know if you received the same request?  I've attached the original
request as an FYI.  If you did get this request, what if anything did you
provide.   We've reviewed most of our document sets, but the only item we've
found is that mesh network draft and subsequent versions.

Thanks
Jennifer

Jennifer Winkler
City Records Manager
Legislative Department - Office of the City Clerk

In that e-mail, Ms. Winkler:

  • Stated that most of the Legislative Department’s “document sets” had been reviewed
  • Stated that the only items responsive to my request that had been found were “that mesh network draft and subsequent revisions”
  • Stated that she found two records responsive to my request that had been submitted by SPD to City Council members months earlier
  • Stated that the responsive records found had had not “been formerly presented to the Council,” (presumably, based on a later e-mail meaning to write “formally” where she wrote “formerly”)

Contrary to what Ms. Winkler wrote to Ms. Friend-Gray, my request was not for surveillance equipment protocols formally presented to City Council, but for draft and final versions of all such protocols communicated to City Council since ordinance 124142 took effect in late March of 2013.

So, according to Ms. Winkler, at a date no later than December 19, she and/or colleagues at the Legislative Department had located multiple records responsive to my request.

About an hour and a half later, Ms. Winkler e-mailed Bonnie Voegele at SPD to report that she had received an out-of-office auto-reply from Ms. Friend-Gray at SPD and to ask whom at SPD she should contact instead:

Sent: Thursday, December 19, 2013 3:53 PM
From: Winkler, Jennifer
To: Voegele, Bonnie
Subject: FW: PDR for surveillance camera protocols

Hi Bonnie,

I got the out of office message for Sheila.  Is there someone else I can talk
to about this?

Jenny

The following morning, Ms. Voegele at SPD e-mailed Ms. Winkler back, reporting that 1) SPD had not received the same request from me as City Council had received and 2) that SPD had received two other requests from me (P2013-3570 and P2013-3571) that were related to SPD’s wireless mesh surveillance network:

Sent: Friday, December 20, 2013 7:47 AM
From: Voegele, Bonnie
To: Winkler, Jennifer
Subject: RE: PDR for surveillance camera protocols

We have not received that request.  But we have received two other ones from
him in regards to the Wireless Mesh (see below).

    1. All summaries and analysis of feedback regarding Seattle Police
    Department's wireless mesh surveillance network, including but not limited
    to all notes taken by Monty E. Moss #5598, Verner B. O'Quinn, Jr. #4920,
    Paul A. Mcdonagh #4708, or Sean P. Whitcomb #6080, regarding the
    approximately four public presentations delivered by SPD staff about the
    network. (P2013-3571)

    2. Draft wireless mesh surveillance network policy, all previous drafts of
    that policy, along with associated metadata.  On Friday, October 8, 2013,
    at approximately 8:00 a.m., in response to [my claim][1] that Seattle
    Police Department have been in perpetual violation of SMC 14.18.40 for the
    past six months, Sean Whitcomb of SPD [wrote to me via Twitter][1] that SPD
    staff "hope to make the draft policy available soon." and that the draft
    policy was at that time "currently under review by the City Attorney's
    Office."  Responsive records should include but not be limited to the draft
    policy to which Mr. Whitcomb referred.  (P2013-3570)

Bonnie Voegele, Records Manager

That afternoon, Ms. Winkler e-mailed Ms. Voegele at SPD back, attaching a document that would eventually be withheld in full, referred to it as a memo rather than as a policy or protocol. Ms. Winkler asked Ms Voegele if SPD had sent that document to me in response either to my two mesh-network-related requests to SPD. She stated that if SPD had released it to me, then the Legislative Department would likely need to consider releasing it to me in response to my October 8 request that was the impetus for her search. She again stated that she had multiple versions of the policy, and thus that she had located multiple records responsive to my request:

Date: Fri, 20 Dec 2013 13:07:42 -0800
From: "Winkler, Jennifer" <Jennifer.Winkler(AT)seattle.gov>
To: "Voegele, Bonnie" <Bonnie.Voegele(AT)seattle.gov>
Subject: RE: PDR for surveillance camera protocols

Thanks, can you tell me if the attached memo was released for either of these?
If so then we will probably have to consider it for this one.  I have lots of
copies of the memo and versions of the policy but nothing that indicates it has
been formally introduced to Council.

Jenny

    [ATTACHED: 20130613 Wireless Mesh Camera Policy (to CM Harrell).docx]

Less than 30 minutes later, Ms. Winkler e-mailed me to repeat that the Legislative Department had concluded its search for responsive records, to inform me that that they continued to review documents, and that I should expect another response, with either an installment of records or with a final update on my request, by January 10, 2014:

Date: Fri, 20 Dec 2013 13:32:27 -0800
From: "Winkler, Jennifer" <Jennifer.Winkler(AT)seattle.gov>
To: 7025-96997557(AT)requests.muckrock.com
Subject: FW: PRR 2013-180 - Surveillance Cameras - status update #3

RE:  Public Records Request No. 2013-180

Dear Mr. Mocek:

In accordance with RCW 42.56.520, this e-mail is to provide you with a status
update  of your Public Records Request dated October 8, 2013 and received by
the Legislative Department same date,  whereby you request the following:

    Surveillance equipment operational protocols and surveillance equipment
    data management protocols provided to the City Council since enactment of
    Seattle ordinance number 124142, including all drafts and final versions.

The Legislative Department has concluded its search for responsive records and
continues to review documents.  The remaining document sets will require
additional review.   Our office will contact you on or before January 10, 2013
with an installment of responsive records or a final update on your request.
Of course if we complete our search sooner, any responsive records will be made
available at that time.

Please feel free to contact me directly with any questions or concerns.

Jennifer Winkler

On Behalf of Sharon Johnson
Public Records Officer
Legislative Department, City of Seattle

A few days later, Monday morning, Ms. Voegele at SPD replied to Ms. Winkler, reporting 1) that SPD had not released to me the 2013-06-13 document about which Ms. Winkler inquired, and 2) that SPD staff planned to meet one week later (December 30) to decide what records to release to me in response to the requests I filed with SPD.

Sent: Monday, December 23, 2013 8:27 AM
From: Voegele, Bonnie
To: Winkler, Jennifer
Subject: RE: PDR for surveillance camera protocols

It has not yet been released.  We are meeting next Monday to decide what will
be released.

Bonnie Voegele, Records Manager

20 minutes later, Ms. Winkler e-mailed back to request notification of the decision SPD would make the following week and to report that Legislative Department had extended their response due date for my request:

Date: Mon, 23 Dec 2013 08:47:12 -0800
From: "Winkler, Jennifer" <Jennifer.Winkler(AT)seattle.gov>
To: "Voegele, Bonnie" <Bonnie.Voegele(AT)seattle.gov>
Subject: RE: PDR for surveillance camera protocols

Thanks, if you could let me know what is decided, I'd appreciate it.   We have
extended our response time to 1/10 for that one

Jennifer

On January 4, an auto-generated request for status update was sent:

Date: Sat, 4 Jan 2014 02:00:13 -0800
From: Phil Mocek <7025-96997557(AT)requests.muckrock.com>
To: "Winkler, Jennifer" <Jennifer.Winkler(AT)seattle.gov>
Subject: RE: Freedom of Information Request #2013-180

I wanted to follow up on the following Freedom of Information request, copied
below, and originally submitted on Oct. 8, 2013. Please let me know when I can
expect to receive a response, or if further clarification is needed.  You had
assigned it reference number #2013-180.

On Monday, January 6, 2014, a week after SPD’s planned meeting to discuss my two mesh-network-related requests and 90 days after I filed my request, Assistant City Attorney Mary Perry e-mailed 15 city employees to report that SPD had received records requests from Seattle newspaper The Stranger and from me, and also to notify recipients of a plan to coordinate further responses.

In that e-mail, Ms. Perry revealed that an installment of records about the mesh network had already been provided to The Stranger. She requested that recipients send to her copies of requests received from The Stranger and from me, related communications between them and us, responsive records provided to us already, and responsive records not yet provided to us.

Sent: Monday, January 06, 2014 4:47 PM
From: Perry, Mary
To: Socci, Angela; Voegele, Bonnie; Hillyard, Naomi
Cc: Podlodowski, Tina; Kimerer, Clark; Anderson, Valarie; McDonagh, Paul;
    Barden, Eric; O'Quin, Verner; Moss, Monty; Seu, Carlton; Smith, Gary;
    Jaeger, Matthew C; Craver, Nancy; DuComb, Darby
Subject: PDRs for Wireless Mesh Network Records

Angela, Bonnie, and Naomi:

The Mayor's Office, Law Department, and SPD have received requests from The
Stranger for records regarding the wireless mesh network.  SPD has also
received a narrower request from Phil Mocek for records related to drafts of
the wireless mesh network policy.

In order to ensure that the Mayor's Office, SPD, and the Law Department provide
consistent responses to the requests, please send Matt Jaeger the following by
January 8:

    1. Copies of The Stranger and/or Mocek requests;

    2. Communications with the requesters;

    3. Responses and records provided thus far (Naomi need not send a copy of
       installment 1 of The Stranger request already given to Law Dept.) ;

    4. Responsive records that have not yet been provided.

We will follow up to coordinate further response to requests. Please call me if
you have any questions.

Thanks,
Mary F. Perry
Assistant City Attorney

I don’t know why coordination of responses would be necessary. If everyone followed the law and provided records as requested except for those which are specifically exempted from the Public Records Act, responses would naturally match. It’s as if there was concern that records might be withheld from some requesters but not from others.

At the end of that week, on January 10, Matt Jaeger at the City Attorney’s office (who was very helpful when I contacted him last year about some research I was doing in hopes of identifying records his office might hold) e-mailed Angela Socci at SPD to ask about records she might have that were related to Ms. Perry’s e-mail concerning The Stranger and me:

Sent: Friday, January 10, 2014 3:03 PM
From: Jaeger, Matthew C
To: Socci, Angela
Subject: FW: PDRs for Wireless Mesh Network Records

Hello Angela,

I wanted to see about the documents you may have related to the below issues.

Thank you!
Matt

-----Original Message-----
Sent: Monday, January 06, 2014 4:47 PM
From: Perry, Mary
To: Socci, Angela; Voegele, Bonnie; Hillyard, Naomi
Cc: Podlodowski, Tina; Kimerer, Clark; Anderson, Valarie; McDonagh, Paul;
    Barden, Eric; O'Quin, Verner; Moss, Monty; Seu, Carlton; Smith, Gary;
    Jaeger, Matthew C; Craver, Nancy; DuComb, Darby
Subject: PDRs for Wireless Mesh Network Records

Angela, Bonnie, and Naomi:

The Mayor's Office, Law Department, and SPD have received requests from The
Stranger  for records regarding the wireless mesh network.  SPD has also
received a narrower request from Phil Mocek for records related to drafts of
the wireless mesh network policy.
  [TRUNCATED]
--------------------------

Later that afternoon, Ms. Winkler reported to me that the Legislative Department was still reviewing documents and that they had identified four records responsive to my request. This was at least 19 days after she had located responsive records and reported such to other city staff. In her e-mail to me, she claimed that those records she had identified would require review by legal counsel prior to disclosure and that this would occur by February 4, at which time I would be provided with either the records or an exemption log for them:

Date: Fri, 10 Jan 2014 16:50:38 -0800
From: "Winkler, Jennifer" <Jennifer.Winkler(AT)seattle.gov>
To: 7025-96997557(AT)requests.muckrock.com
CC: "Johnson, Sharon" <Sharon.Johnson(AT)seattle.gov>
Subject: RE: PRR 2013-180 - Surveillance Cameras - status update #4

RE:  Public Records Request No. 2013-180  - status update #4

Dear Mr. Mocek:

In accordance with RCW 42.56.520, this e-mail is to provide you with a status
update  of your Public Records Request dated October 8, 2013 and received by
the Legislative Department same date,  whereby you request the following:

    Surveillance equipment operational protocols and surveillance equipment
    data management protocols provided to the City Council since enactment of
    Seattle ordinance number 124142, including all drafts and final versions.

The Legislative Department has concluded its search for responsive records and
continues to review documents.  We have identified 4 documents responsive to
your request.  The contents of the documents will require review by our legal
counsel as to their disclosure status.  We anticipate they will have rendered
their decision by February 4th, 2013 at which time we will either release the
documents or provide you with an exemption log for them.

Please feel free to contact me directly with any questions or concerns.

Jennifer Winkler
On Behalf of Sharon Johnson

Around the same time as Ms. Winkler sent me that update, near the end of day on a Friday, Angela Socci at SPD responded to the request from Matthew Jaeger at the City Attorney’s office, providing 1) a 2013-07-11 draft of the mesh network policy, described as the latest version of that policy and as one that had not been “presented to Council,” and 2) draft of a related bill that had been sent “sent to the ACLU for comment.”

Sent: Friday, January 10, 2014 4:56 PM
From: Socci, Angela
To: Jaeger, Matthew C
Cc: Perry, Mary; Smith, Gary; Doss, Greg
Subject: RE: PDRs for Wireless Mesh Network Records

All,

Attached please find a copy of the draft wireless mesh system policy and draft
ordinance sent to the ACLU for comment. The latter is the most recent version
of the department policy. It has not been presented to Council.

Sorry for the delay. Our email system was down. Let me or Greg Doss know if you
have any questions.

Thanks,
Angela

  [ATTACHED: 20130711 Wireless Mesh Camera Policy - draft.docx]
  [ATTACHED: SPD Wireless Mesh Protocols ORD transmitted to MO on Nov 19.docx]

Monday morning, Matthew Jaeger at the City Attorney’s office forwarded Ms. Socci’s (SPD’s) e-mail, along with the two attachments, without additional comment, to Ms. Winkler:

Date: Mon, 13 Jan 2014 09:57:56 -0800
From: "Jaeger, Matthew C" <Matthew.Jaeger(AT)seattle.gov>
To: "Winkler, Jennifer" <Jennifer.Winkler(AT)seattle.gov>
Subject: FW: PDRs for Wireless Mesh Network Records

-----Original Message-----
Sent: Friday, January 10, 2014 4:56 PM
From: Socci, Angela
To: Jaeger, Matthew C
Cc: Perry, Mary; Smith, Gary; Doss, Greg
Subject: RE: PDRs for Wireless Mesh Network Records

All,

Attached please find a copy of the draft wireless mesh system policy and draft
ordinance sent to the ACLU for comment. The latter is the most recent version
of the department policy. It has not been presented to Council.
  [TRUNCATED]
--------------------------

  [ATTACHED: 20130711 Wireless Mesh Camera Policy - draft.docx]
  [ATTACHED: SPD Wireless Mesh Protocols ORD transmitted to MO on Nov 19.docx]

On January 31, an auto-generated request for status update was sent:

Date: Fri, 31 Jan 2014 02:04:35 -0800
From: Phil Mocek <7025-96997557(AT)requests.muckrock.com>
To: "Winkler, Jennifer" <Jennifer.Winkler(AT)seattle.gov>
CC: "Johnson, Sharon" <Sharon.Johnson(AT)seattle.gov>
Subject: RE: Freedom of Information Request #2013-180

I wanted to follow up on the following Freedom of Information request, copied
below, and originally submitted on Oct. 8, 2013. Please let me know when I can
expect to receive a response, or if further clarification is needed.  You had
assigned it reference number #2013-180.

On February 4, 2014, 119 days after I filed my request, Bonnie Voegele at SPD e-mailed Ms. Winkler to report that she had recently released a 2013-07-11 draft of the policy to me in response to a request I filed with SPD. A copy of that draft was attached.

Date: Tue, 4 Feb 2014 13:03:04 -0800
From: "Voegele, Bonnie" <Bonnie.Voegele(AT)seattle.gov>
To: "Winkler, Jennifer" <Jennifer.Winkler(AT)seattle.gov>
Subject: Mocek Public Disclosure Request P2013-3570 (SPD)

Jennifer,

Here is the draft policy which I was told was previously released.  I just
released it to Mocek re:  P2014-3570

Bonnie Voegele, Records Manager

    [ATTACHED: 20130711 Wireless Mesh Camera Policy - draft.docx]

Ms. Winkler replied to Ms. Voegele at SPD, stating that she had the 2013-07-11 draft and would release it that day. She sent 2013-05-08 and 2013-06-13 drafts to Ms. Voegele.

Date: Tue, 4 Feb 2014 13:26:33 -0800
From: "Winkler, Jennifer" <Jennifer.Winkler(AT)seattle.gov>
To: "Voegele, Bonnie" <Bonnie.Voegele(AT)seattle.gov>
Subject: RE: Mocek Public Disclosure Request P2013-3570 (SPD)

Thanks Bonnie,

We have that one and will release it today as well.   Here are the other two
drafts we have that we are still questioning their release.

    [ATTACHED: 20130613 Wireless Mesh Camera Policy (to CM Harrell).pdf]
    [ATTACHED: 20130508 Wireless Mesh Camera Policy DRAFT 9.docx]

Later that afternoon, on February 4, 2014, nearly four months after I placed my request and more than six weeks`after Ms. Winkler located responsive records and discussed them via e-mail with Bonnie Voegele at SPD, she sent me an initial installment of responsive records, consisting of a single draft of the protocol. It was provided as a PDF, not named the same as any of the files that had been passed around between various agencies in the aforementioned inter-agency discussions, that did not include any internal date or revision numbers. She repeated her January 10 claim that other responsive records required review by legal council prior to disclosure, and provided a new estimate of February 21 for completion of that review and either release of records to me or production of an exemption log.

Date: Tue, 4 Feb 2014 15:35:54 -0800
From: "Winkler, Jennifer" <Jennifer.Winkler(AT)seattle.gov>
To: 7025-96997557(AT)requests.muckrock.com
Subject: PRR 2013-180 - Surveillance Cameras - install #1

RE:  Public Records Request No. 2013-180  - installment #1

Dear Mr. Mocek:

In accordance with RCW 42.56.520, this e-mail is to provide you with an
installment of records responsive to your Public Records Request dated October
8, 2013 and received by the Legislative Department same date,  whereby you
request the following:

    Surveillance equipment operational protocols and surveillance equipment
    data management protocols provided to the City Council since enactment of
    Seattle ordinance number 124142, including all drafts and final versions.

The Legislative Department has concluded its search for responsive records and
continues to  review documents. We have identified 3 documents responsive to
your request. Attached is one responsive document, the contents of the 2
remaining documents will require review by our legal counsel as to their
disclosure status.  We anticipate they will have rendered their decision by
February 21st, 2013 at which time we will either release the documents or
provide you with an exemption log for them.

Please feel free to contact me directly with any questions or concerns.

Jennifer Winkler

On Behalf of Sharon Johnson

    [ATTACHED: 2013-180 install 1.pdf]

A few hours after receiving that first installment, I wrote back to confirm receipt and express concern with the time it took for her office to locate documents due by law to City Council almost a year earlier. I asked for an approximation of how much time was spent weekly on processing my request. I asked what led her to believe that the unreleased responsive records were of such a sensitive nature that legal review of them was required prior to allowing the public to see them.

Date: Tue, 4 Feb 2014 17:54:54 -0800
From: Phil Mocek <7025-96997557(AT)requests.muckrock.com>
To: "Winkler, Jennifer" <Jennifer.Winkler(AT)seattle.gov>
Subject: RE: Freedom of Information Request #2013-180

RE: My public records request of October 8, 2014 (your identifier: 2013-180)

Dear Ms. Winkler:

I received your e-mail of February 4, 2014, this afternoon. In it, you provided
a single file, 588 KB, MD5 checksum 4a438609322d2306dcd69718fe5bc7d7.  This
record contains an unversioned, undated, draft policy for "Wireless Mesh
Network Cameras."  Presumably these are those cameras that Seattle Police
Department sneaked onto Alki Beach last year under the guise of "Port Security"
using funding from the United States Department of Homeland Security after City
Council performed their annual rubber-stamping of the DHS Urban Areas Security
Initiative grant.

I am concerned that almost a year after passage of an ordinance that required
multiple city departments to provide City Council protocols like this for
approval, it took three months for your office to locate any such records and
provide just one of them to me.

Approximately how much time per week has been spent processing my request?

I'm baffled by your claim that draft versions of public policy must undergo
legal review before disclosure to the public.  Could you please explain just
what makes you believe these are of such a sensitive nature?

Cordially,
Phil Mocek

Neither Ms. Winkler nor anyone else ever answered those questions.

The following day, Ms. Winkler forwarded my e-mail to her supervisor, Sharon Johnson.

Date: Wed, 5 Feb 2014 08:18:42 -0800
From: "Winkler, Jennifer" <Jennifer.Winkler(AT)seattle.gov>
To: "Johnson, Sharon" <Sharon.Johnson(AT)seattle.gov>
Subject: FW: Freedom of Information Request #2013-180

Forwarding for your response, etc.

-----Original Message-----
Sent: Tuesday, February 04, 2014 5:55 PM
From: 7025-96997557(AT)requests.muckrock.com
To: Winkler, Jennifer
Subject: RE: Freedom of Information Request #2013-180

RE: My public records request of October 8, 2014 (your identifier: 2013-180)

Dear Ms. Winkler:

I received your e-mail of February 4, 2014, this afternoon. In it, you provided
a single file, 588 KB, MD5 checksum 4a438609322d2306dcd69718fe5bc7d7.  This
record contains an unversioned, undated, draft policy for "Wireless Mesh
  [TRUNCATED]
--------------------------

A few hours later, Ms. Winkler forwarded my email to multiple staff at the City Attorney’s office. In that message, she briefly summarized related activity already performed in response to my records request and requested guidance on responding to me.

Date: Wed, 5 Feb 2014 10:13:26 -0800
From: "Winkler, Jennifer" <Jennifer.Winkler(AT)seattle.gov>
To: "Perry, Mary" <Mary.Perry(AT)seattle.gov>,
    "Smith, Gary" <Gary.Smith(AT)seattle.gov>
CC: "Johnson, Sharon" <Sharon.Johnson(AT)seattle.gov>,
    "Jaeger, Matthew C" <Matthew.Jaeger(AT)seattle.gov>
Subject: FW: Freedom of Information Request #2013-180 - ATTORNEY CLIENT PRIVILEGE

Hello,

Please see the below from Mr. Mocek regarding the PDR he has filed with the
Legislative department.

We did a search, the mesh network cameras were the only ones that showed up,
apparently no other departments have filed procedures as of the date of his
request.

We sent updates to Mr. Mocek on a regular basis, met every deadline that we set
up, provided him the records once we had the approval of SPD.  We would
appreciate your guidance on how best to respond to Mr. Mocek.  I have attached
the final two drafts that we have (he asked for final and drafts) that we have
yet to provide as well as the one document we provided.  Please note, this is
the format that it came to us in, we did not draft it, this is how it came to
us, no date, draft number, etc.

Thanks
Jennifer

-----Original Message-----
Sent: Tuesday, February 04, 2014 5:55 PM
From: 7025-96997557(AT)requests.muckrock.com
To: Winkler, Jennifer
Subject: RE: Freedom of Information Request #2013-180

RE: My public records request of October 8, 2014 (your identifier: 2013-180)

Dear Ms. Winkler:

I received your e-mail of February 4, 2014, this afternoon. In it, you provided
a single file, 588 KB, MD5 checksum 4a438609322d2306dcd69718fe5bc7d7.  This
record contains an unversioned, undated, draft policy for "Wireless Mesh
  [TRUNCATED]
--------------------------

    [ATTACHED: 20130613 Wireless Mesh Camera Policy (to CM Harrell).pdf]
    [ATTACHED: 20130508 Wireless Mesh Camera Policy DRAFT 9.docx]
    [ATTACHED: 2013-180 install 1.pdf]

In that message, Ms. Winkler revealed that she had provided the first installment of responsive records (a single record) only after receiving approval from SPD to do so. No explanation for the police department’s veto power on the Legislative Department’s potential compliance with the Public Records Act was provided.

This e-mail, provided to me as part of the administrative tracking file, seems to have attached to it the two documents that multiple agencies worked so diligently to keep out of public view.

Despite Ms. Winkler’s request for guidance on how best to respond to my e-mail, I never received a response to that e-mail.

The following week, on February 13, I sent another followup, repeating my request for an estimate of how much time was spent weekly on the processing of my request. I explained in detail why I expected the request, now months past due, to have taken only about a week to complete. I explained that these records are of great interest to the public. I explained that disclosure of the records was urgently needed, as City Council had the previous week discussed a bill that would authorize the acceptance of more federal funding for police equipment, and that City Light were moving steadily forward with plans to acquire and deploy equipment that should require them to submit protocols for use to City Council.

Date: Thu, 13 Feb 2014 09:11:51 -0800
From: Phil Mocek <7025-96997557(AT)requests.muckrock.com>
To: "Winkler, Jennifer" <Jennifer.Winkler(AT)seattle.gov>
Subject: RE: Freedom of Information Request #2013-180

Dear Ms. Winkler:

I have received no contact regarding this matter since I e-mailed to you nine
days ago several questions about its processing.

Again:  Approximately how much time per week has been spent processing my
request?

It took your office three months from the time I requested these records until
you provided to me what you called a first installment of responsive records.
This delay is unreasonable, and seems to be a violation of the Public Records
Act.  Nobody has communicated any explanation of the delay.  I expected that my
request would be routed to the office of Councilmember Bruce Harrell, chair of
the Public Safety, Civil Rights, and Technology Committee, then delegated to a
staff member charged with collecting these records that Mr. Harrell's committee
requested by way of passing Council Bill 117730 in March of 2013, who would
pull a file folder, scan its content, and e-mail it to me.  I cannot imagine
why this would have taken more than a week or so to complete.

The surveillance equipment acquisitions that prompted the aforementioned bill,
now an ordinance which required city departments to submit to your office more
than nine months ago the records I have requested of you, was a widely-reported
matter of great public interest.  Seattle Police Department repeatedly sidestep
municipal oversight by using funding from the United States government to
purchase surveillance equipment for use in performing suspicionless
surveillance of City Council's constituency.

This is also an issue of great urgency.  City Council's Public Safety, Civil
Rights, and Technology Committee discussed last week an ordinance allowing
Seattle Police Department to accept *more* money from the United States
Department of Homeland Security, similar to that which funded surveillance
equipment that fueled public outrage a year ago.  Seattle City Light are
barreling ahead with plans to install so-called "smart meters" on ratepayers'
homes to collect and report real-time data about our energy usage, yet as Josh
Walter of City Light reported to me via e-mail on February 7, they have no
criteria for selecting devices that properly safeguard this sensitive
information about our homes.

The records I requested, if they exist, are undoubtedly well-known to people
within City Council.  If they do not exist, then it is indication that city
departments are flouting the law City Council passed almost 11 months ago, and
thus their lack of existence should be well-known to people within City
Council.  I can imagine no reason, and you have offered no reason, why four
months after I requested these records, you have yet to either provide them to
me or notify me that they do not exist.

You claimed in your e-mail to me on January 10 that the "contents of the
documents will require review by our legal counsel as to their disclosure
status."  The people of this state, in delegating authority to the agencies
that serve them, do not give their public servants the right to decide what is
good for the people to know and what is not good for them to know.  I repeat my
request from nine days ago for you to explain what makes you believe that
surveillance equipment operational protocols and data management protocols
submitted to City Council for approval are of such a sensitive nature that you
may have legal authority to hide them from the public.

Cordially,
Phil Mocek

Nobody ever responded to that e-mail.

Almost two weeks later, on February 25, Ms. Winkler e-mailed staff at the City Attorney’s office and at the Police Department to request “a definitive answer on whether” the responsive records to which she continued to deny me access were “releasable.”

Sent: Tuesday, February 25, 2014 9:01 AM
From: Winkler, Jennifer
To: Perry, Mary; Jaeger, Matthew C; Voegele, Bonnie
Subject: FW: Mocek Public Disclosure Request P2013-3570 (SPD)

Hello,

I need a definitive answer on whether these are releasable.  Our final install
is due tomorrow and we need to know what the status is on others releasing
these two drafts.

Thanks
Jennifer

About 20 minutes later, Bonnie Voegele at SPD replied with two statements: 1) SPD had released (to whom, she did not indicate) only the draft that was sent to ACLU. 2) SPD intended to withhold public access to two other drafts, citing a “deliberative process” exemption to the Public Records Act–one that the RCFP analysis I cited above indicates is clearly not applicable, since these documents constituted inter-agency, not intra-agency, communications.

Sent: Tuesday, February 25, 2014 9:24 AM
From: Voegele, Bonnie
To: Winkler, Jennifer
Cc: Perry, Mary; Jaeger, Matthew C
Subject: RE: Mocek Public Disclosure Request P2013-3570 (SPD)

SPD has only released the version that went to ACLU.  SPD will not be releasing
these documents at this time.  We will be completing an exemption log using the
deliberative process exemption.

Deliberative Process: The record contains preliminary drafts, notes,
recommendations, and intra-agency memorandums in which opinions are expressed
or policies formulated or recommended. RCW 42.56.280, See also, ACLU v. City of
Seattle, 121 Wn.App.544, 549-50, 89 P.3d 295 (2004), Hearst Corp. v. Hoppe, 90
Wn.2d 123, 133,580 P.2d 246 (1978).  Explanation: Disclosure of the information
before an agency has reached a decision would discourage agency employees from
providing frank and thorough input regarding the matter and would impair an
agency's ability to make well-informed decisions.

Bonnie Voegele, Records Manager

Later that day, Ms. Winkler replied, stating that she would close my request, citing the same exemption that Ms. Voegele reported SPD’s intent to claim, unless Mary Perry or Matthew Jaeger at the City Attorney’s Office advised her to do otherwise by noon the following day.

Date: Tue, 25 Feb 2014 16:53:18 -0800
From: "Winkler, Jennifer" <Jennifer.Winkler(AT)seattle.gov>
To: "Voegele, Bonnie" <Bonnie.Voegele(AT)seattle.gov>
CC: "Perry, Mary" <Mary.Perry(AT)seattle.gov>,
    "Jaeger, Matthew C" <Matthew.Jaeger(AT)seattle.gov>
Subject: RE: Mocek Public Disclosure Request P2013-3570 (SPD)

Thanks Bonnie,

Unless I hear otherwise from Mary or Matt by noon on Wednesday, the Legislative
department will follow this as well and then close this particular request.

Jennifer

The following morning, Ms. Winkler e-mailed her supervisor, Sharon Johnson, to notify Ms. Johnson of the noon deadline for a response from the City Attorney’s office and of her suspicion that they would not respond.

Date: Wed, 26 Feb 2014 08:22:05 -0800
From: "Winkler, Jennifer" <Jennifer.Winkler(AT)seattle.gov>
To: "Johnson, Sharon" <Sharon.Johnson(AT)seattle.gov>
Subject: FW: Mocek Public Disclosure Request P2013-3570 (SPD)

Here is what I sent yesterday afternoon to Mary and Matt. Gave them a deadline
but I doubt they will get back to me.

Sent with Good (www.good.com)

-----Original Message-----
Sent: Tuesday, February 25, 2014 04:53 PM Pacific Standard Time
From: Winkler, Jennifer
To: Voegele, Bonnie
Cc: Perry, Mary; Jaeger, Matthew C
Subject: RE: Mocek Public Disclosure Request P2013-3570 (SPD)

Thanks Bonnie,

Unless I hear otherwise from Mary or Matt by noon on Wednesday, the Legislative
department will follow this as well and then close this particular request.

Jennifer

I had still received no contact on this matter since receiving the initial installment of responsive records three weeks earlier, on February 4. Nobody responded to my direct requests on February 4 and February 13 for simple information about the processing of my request.

On February 26, three hours prior to the deadline Ms. Winkler had provided City Attorney’s office staff for response to her proposal to follow SPD’s lead and deny me access to the remaining responsive records (something of which I was unaware until receiving the administrative tracking file weeks later), I wrote again, politely but firmly expressing my growing frustration with the situation and explaining that the unlawful delay in providing access to these records drastically reduced the possibility of informed public input of impending City Council votes. I requested that she comply with the law and provide the records I requested 20 weeks earlier.

Date: Wed, 26 Feb 2014 09:01:05 -0800
From: Phil Mocek <7025-96997557(AT)requests.muckrock.com>
To: "Winkler, Jennifer" <Jennifer.Winkler(AT)seattle.gov>
Subject: RE: Freedom of Information Request #2013-180

This is a follow up to request number 2013-180:

Dear Ms. Winkler:

I have received no contact regarding this matter since I e-mailed to you three
weeks ago with questions about its processing.  On February 13, I repeated my
request for you to tell me how much time per week has been spent processing my
request since I placed it more than 20 weeks ago.  I believe this delay in
providing access to public records is unreasonable, but I have given you
repeated opportunity to explain the delay.  Yet you have not done so.

The records I requested were due *by law* to City Council in April of last
year.  I requested them in October.  You acknowledged their existence in your
e-mail to me of November 22.  Since then, four months have passed, and you have
provided only a subset of records you located---one record, e-mailed to me on
February 4---and continue to withhold access to the other records you located.
On *that* date, you estimated that by February 21, you would provide me with
either the records I requested in October or an exemption log for them.  It is
February 26, and you have provided neither.

This is a matter of great concern to the public.  Your delays are a hindrance
to our understanding of the policies by which we are governed, they drastically
reduce the possibility of informed public input on related matters such as the
impending Council vote on more U.S. Department of Homeland Security funding for
surveillance equipment for police, and they are a violation of the Public
Records Act.

Please comply with the law and provide the records I requested 20 weeks ago.

Cordially,
Phil Mocek

That afternoon, Ms. Winkler closed my request as planned, withholding in their entirety the remaining responsive records of which she was reportedly aware.

Date: Wed, 26 Feb 2014 16:00:12 -0800
From: "Winkler, Jennifer" <Jennifer.Winkler(AT)seattle.gov>
To: 7025-96997557(AT)requests.muckrock.com
CC: "Johnson, Sharon" <Sharon.Johnson(AT)seattle.gov>
Subject: PRR 2013-180 - Surveillance Cameras - closure

Via E-Mail Message

RE:  Public Records Request No. 2013-180

Dear Mr. Mocek:

As a follow-up to my email of February 4th, this is to inform you that
review of remaining documents has been completed.  It has been determined
that those documents are exempt under RCW 42.56.280 and are therefore being
withheld in their entirety.  An exemption log is attached.

If you wish to appeal the exemption of the listed documents, please submit your
appeal in writing within five business days of receipt of this message to:

    Monica Simmons
    City Clerk
    P.O. Box 94728
    Seattle, WA 98124-4728
    Monica.simmons(AT)seattle.gov
    (206) 684-8361

This concludes the Legislative Departments response to your request.

Sincerely,
Jennifer Winkler
On behalf of Sharon Johnson

    [ATTACHED: ExemptionLog2013-180.pdf]

Unsatisfied with this outcome, curious what had taken so long, and having found my polite requests for Ms. Winkler to inform me of the reason for the delay seemingly ignored, I filed a request the following day for the administrative tracking file. That request was completed by Sharon Johnson of the Legislative Department on Thursday, March 13, 2014.

My review of that file leads me to conclude that throughout processing of my request to City Council, 2013-180, filed October 8, 2013, staff at the Legislative Department were less concerned with what the Public Records Act requires of them than with what staff at the Seattle Police Department desired for the public to know about their work. It seems that the Legislative Department have allowed staff at the Police Department to say what is good for the people to know and what is not good for us to know, violating both the spirit and letter of the law.