ECBAWM Represents Office of the Public Advocate In Data Access Litigation

  • July 26, 2012

On July 26, 2012, ECBAWM filed suit on behalf of the New York City Office of the Public Advocate against Mayor Michael Bloomberg and several of his commissioners. The case seeks to enforce the Public Advocate’s right under the New York City Charter to obtain documents and other information concerning the fines and penalties imposed on small businesses. In a New York Times article announcing the suit, Public Advocate Bill de Blasio invoked the Office’s role as a watchdog over the mayoral administration: “We’re just not going to stand for it anymore,” he said. “[The Mayor’s agencies] have to be transparent with an oversight entity like the public advocate’s office. And we’ve decided there’s no choice now but to turn to litigation.”

In 1997, ECBAWM successfully litigated the seminal case in this area, Green v. Safir. That case established the Public Advocate’s right under the Charter to obtain documents from mayoral appointees and to enforce its access rights in the courts. The Office of the Public Advocate is represented by ECBAWM’s Andrew G. Celli, Jr. and Zoe Salzman.