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Giuliani Records to Be Handed Over

February 15, 2002

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NEW YORK (AP) _ Records from the Giuliani administration will be handed over to a private archivist for processing under a new plan by city officials.

The agreement signed Thursday also calls for the city’s Office of the Corporation Counsel to determine which mayoral papers are official government documents and which are private records of former Mayor Rudolph Giuliani or other individuals.

Critics had questioned an earlier agreement that gave the former mayor the right to determine what documents can be made public since the mayoral records were handed over to the Rudolph W. Giuliani Center for Urban affairs, a new organization run by colleagues of the ex-mayor.

The archival plan was released a day after Robert Freeman, director of the state’s Committee on Open Government, criticized elements of the agreement as inconsistent with the Freedom of Information law.

Michael Cardozo, the city’s corporation counsel, said the plan addressed those issues.

``He need not have any concern,″ Cardozo said. ``Not only are the records the property of the city, but the city will determine whether or not there’s some basis to withhold some particular piece of paper.″

The records in question include a variety of information from Giuliani’s office and those of his chief of staff, deputy mayors and their chiefs of staff.

Cardozo said archivists will process the documents over a three-year period, flagging all records that may be private, in addition to those that may relate to city security, law enforcement or pending litigation.

Files containing sensitive materials will be separated and marked ``Restricted,″ but if any requests are made for those documents, Cardozo’s office will determine whether to grant access.

The agreement sparked controversy when it was first reported last month. City Comptroller William Thompson launched an audit of the agreement, and Public Advocate Betsy Gotbaum asked for it to be reviewed, noting that it may violate the City Charter.

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