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The Centre City Development Corp.’s attorney, Gus Lamanna, just provided three estimated dates for when the agency will release Nancy Graham’s e-mails that we’ve sought.
The first batch, Lamanna writes, will be released Nov. 19 — 117 days after I first requested the documents, which are public because they were created while doing business on behalf of taxpayers.
The second batch, Lamanna writes, are due Dec. 10 — 138 days after my July 25 request was filed.
The third batch, he writes, are coming Dec. 17 — 145 days after my request was filed.
Under state law, any member of the public can request public documents. The responding agency has 10 calendar days to acknowledge a request and 14 more days to search for records in extraordinary circumstances. At that point, it must release any records it can and provide an estimated completion date for the rest.
CCDC originally said my request would be finished Sept. 6. Then a new law firm, Kane Ballmer Berkman, took over after the agency’s previous counsel resigned.
Lamanna, its attorney, first denied my request. I protested. CCDC Chairman Fred Maas said the agency needed to err on the side of transparency and release the e-mails. CCDC produced them Tuesday, but included voluminous amounts of metadata, HTML coding and formatting in the printed e-mails, turning short e-mails into pages-long tangles of code with occasional sentences interspersed.
State law requires public agencies to produce exact copies of records, which it didn’t do Tuesday. CCDC spokesman Derek Danziger said yesterday the agency would endeavor to release the original e-mails as soon as possible.
Lamanna said that will take at least a month.
I talked to Danziger and Maas again today, and they both said they were absolutely committed to responding faster than Lamanna said the agency would.
“I fully acknowledge that this is bogus,” Maas said, “and we’re going to get to the bottom of this post-haste.”
Danziger echoed Maas.
”If it means putting two or three people on it to do it faster we will,” he said. “It serves us no purpose to delay it.”