Response to the letter from Duncanville’s Attorney denying Access to Public Records

 

RE: Request for Public Information to the City of Duncanville from Dario Crosetto submitted on February 2nd, 2018

Dear Mr. Hager, Thank you for your letter dated February 15th, 2018.

First, I would like to thank you for the letter to the Attorney General for a “request for an opinion….” because it answers a question that I had for a long time to find a procedure in the U.S. Juridical system similar to the one that I am more familiar with in Italy called “esposto alla Procura del Tribunale” where a citizen can ask the equivalent in the U.S. of the Attorney General an opinion if a fact, action, behavior, etc., by someone is complying with or is breaking the laws, rules or codes.

As the last line of your letter stated to not hesitate to contact your office if I had any further questions, I immediately called your office and had a brief conversation with your assistant, Ms. Gaby De La Garza, asking for her to give you a message to call me back, and I also called one more time the following week asking for you to call at your convenience. I believed that a dialogue would have helped to better understand each other; however, because I did not receive a return call, I am expressing here my questions/concerns.

My first question is: who is responsible for hiding documents from the public? Is it someone at the City of Duncanville, or you as their legal representative? I understand that you are asking them for the material and to provide me with whatever they give you, however, I do not know if you have access to all computers at the City of Duncanville, if the research is done by your employees, or you just trust the city employees.

I believe it would not be fair for you to risk your reputation by adding your name if the City of Duncanville is hiding documents that they should release to the public when requested.

It is hard for me to believe that there are only the documents you provided me on February 15th, 2018, that were responsive to my request. In fact, after a simple phone call, your assistant sent me an email on February 16th, promising additional documents that she sent on your behalf on February 20, 2018. Still, I believe this to be a small fraction of all documents that are responsive to my request.

For example, the City of Duncanville provided 600 emails and several documents from my previous request on December 6, 2017, and now for my request dated February 2nd, 2018, regarding the same type of documents (emails, letters, etc., related to the Sister Cities) from November 28, 2017 to February 2nd, 2018, I am provided only 7 email exchange between myself and Duncanville’s Administrative Assistant Ms. Kristin Downs, and one flyer announcing the trip to Italy April 18 – 28, 2018.

Seven emails compared to 600 in the previous release is an enormous difference, considering that these past two months there has been the preparation of the visit to Italy, the itinerary, the hosts/guests which I am very familiar because I did this for ten years, and yet I did not receive one single email regarding any communication back and forth to Italy and internal emails at the City of Duncanville as I received in my December request.

I also had questions regarding the Exhibits listed in your first letter sent on February 15th, 2018. Your letter mentions Exhibits A, B, C and D but only Exhibit B-3 (7 emails between myself and Ms. Downs) and Exhibit B-4a (the flyer announcing the trip to Italy April 18-29, 2018 is attached. I could understand from your letter that Exhibit A is my request for public information. I have a copy of the letter; however, for the record, you should delete my personal information as it was done in a previous request of the application of Ms. Marian Duhon and attach it to my letter as you did for my email to Ms. Downs in Exhibit B-3. (See my Open Records Request in the Appendix R of this letter at goo.gl/LTZJJi).

I never asked for information regarding bank accounts, credit cards, debit cards, charge cards, and access device numbers listed in your letter as Exhibit C, so I am puzzled why this was included in Exhibit C. I was expecting to receive information regarding expenditures related to the Sister Cities program as I received in the 600 emails of my previous request which included a $947 dinner for the Sister City guests Marco Cavaglià and his wife on March 2016, and a similar amount for the dinner of the Sister City guests Luciano Alesso, his wife and two friends in April 2017.

However, you did not provide a description of how many Exhibits were attached to your letter; therefore, I do not know if there were Exhibits B-1, B-2, B-4b(?) and Exhibit D, which was mentioned in your letter but without a description, was missing. It would be easier for the reader if at the end of your letter you would make a list of all Exhibits that you mention, specifying which were included and which were not.

I had a question regarding the Exhibits of the second letter sent by your assistant Ms. Gaby De La Garza on February 20th, 2018, which were not even mentioned in the letter. In particular I was not able to find on Duncanville’s website the document of the Exhibit regarding Duncanville’s Weekly e-NewsLetter of Appendix N goo.gl/jd8Wzi. I have also noticed that in the Facebook announcement, the date can be changed, e.g. can be written today and posted with the date of the previous month.

To give equal opportunity to a large number of Duncanville citizens, during the ten years I organized the Sister Cities, I was presenting the program and the trip to Italy in a poster displayed in Duncanville’s High School Library, and the photo with an article was published in a local newspaper as you can see from Appendix I goo.gl/o9CnaM.

In your letter you stated that there are no responsive documents for Nos. 1, 2, 4b and 4c; however, it is inconceivable that for two months during the preparation of a program, a trip to Italy, the coordination of over twenty guests with families there are no exchanges of emails and no documents, letters to/from Monasterolo di Savigliano. I am aware of documents sent from Monasterolo. Even some documents available on Duncanville’s website were not provided; therefore, the Open Records Request has not been satisfied.

Regarding your statement to request 4d “names of participants” that you believe is exempt from disclosure pursuant to 552.101 of the Texas Local Government Code, first, I would like you to note that I only asked for their names; second, I have read this code as I report in Appendix E goo.gl/4H5LDy and I do not see where it is written that the release of names is prohibited.

At this point I would like to make an example that if you go to the hospital to have a diagnostic examination and let’s suppose the medical physicists (which he should as part of his professional knowledge) is not sure if he needs to give you 10 mCi or 100 mCi of radiation and he goes for 100 mCi and then asks for an opinion from the International Commission for Radiation Protection (ICRP). Before he receives the response from ICRP you would be dead from the radiation dose. In my case, from February 2nd, 2018, it is looking like I will not receive the names of the participants until they are already on their trip to Italy and their names and program activities are in the newspapers, and you will have succeeded to misuse the interpretation of a code to deny a right, and all this effort by many people will be a waste of time and money.

During the past years the names of the guests, hosts, program activities were released and published in the newspapers even before the trip took place (see list of hosts, guests and activities for the 1999 trip to U.S. published in Today newspaper in Appendix F goo.gl/yPFStc, for the 2003 in Appendix G goo.gl/FKsGTE, and for the trip of the Texans to Monasterolo in 2004 in Appendix Q goo.gl/C9xbvy). Did all these journalists from United States and Italy and the City of Duncanville break the law or codes?

I am wondering whether also in this case the same strategy by Sandi Ciarochi and the City of Duncanville as reported in Appendix A goo.gl/Km9UVK and Appendix B goo.gl/4bLrtB is being implemented which uses laws, rules and codes to suppress the rights of a citizen instead of using them according to the intention of their founders to protect and guarantee the citizens’ rights.

If you cannot point out where the City of Duncanville and the journalists in the U.S. and In Italy did something wrong from 1999 to 2006 in releasing to the public the names of the participants and the program activities even before the trip took place, given the fact that for more than twenty years no one has raised your concern, please provide at once the names of the participants and the itinerary and program activities before receiving the response from the Attorney General on this issue.

I am looking forward to receiving your response, and please let me know if I can provide any additional information that you might need.

Thank you,

Kind Regards

Dario Crosetto 

APPENDIXES

APPENDIX A: 2018_02_23 Letter from Dario Crosetto to Ms. Sandi Ciarochi goo.gl/Km9UVK

APPENDIX B:  2006_03_27 Ms. Sandi Ciarochi untrue statements  goo.gl/4bLrtB

APPENDIX C: 2018_02_23 Letter from Dario Crosetto to Duncanville attorney goo.gl/2sSLxa

APPENDIX D:  2018_02_15 Letter from Duncanville Attorney to the Attorney General goo.gl/hgx2QL

APPENDIX E:  Code_552-101 Information to be considered confidential goo.gl/4H5LDy

APPENDIX F:  1999_09_30 List of Hosts, Guests and Activities of the Sister City program, published on Today newspaper goo.gl/yPFStc

APPENDIX G:  2003_09 List of Hosts, Guests and Activities of the Sister City program, published on Focus Daily News goo.gl/FKsGTE

APPENDIX H:  2006 Summary of ten years of the sister city cultural exchange by Dario Crosetto goo.gl/sYrygR

APPENDIX I:  2000_04_20 Crosetto Organizer of Duncanville Sister City Committee publicly invites Texans to the trip to Italy through presentations at schools and articles on newspapers goo.gl/o9CnaM

APPENDIX J:  2002_07_25 Article by Duncanville Mayor’s wife Ann Green about the Sister City trip to Italy organized by Crosetto published on Today Newspaper goo.gl/oFRxjn

APPENDIX K:  1997_03_05 Texas Senate Resolution about the Sister Cities goo.gl/nBcWym

APPENDIX L:  2018 Flyer of the Trip to Italy goo.gl/Tfja16

APPENDIX M:  2018 Snapshot of the Duncanville’s webpage showing there are no information about the flyer, time for application to the trip, itinerary, etc. goo.gl/qRsDRd

APPENDIX N: 2017_12_18 Announcement of the Trip to Italy provided by Duncanville that cannot be found on the Duncanville’s weekly e-newsletter goo.gl/jd8Wzi

APPENDIX O:  2018 Snapshots of Duncanville’s Facebook page by City Hall showing that perhaps there was no publicity to invite the citizens but the invitation was extended only to a few friends goo.gl/F9LtJZ

APPENDIX P:  2018 Internal Announcement by City Hall of the Sister City Trip to Italy goo.gl/6bHy4t

APPENDIX Q:  2004_08_19 List of Hosts and Guests of the Sister City program, published on Focus Daily News of the Texans to Italy. The link is showing only the first page, on page 2, 3 and 4 are reported the impressions of some of the Texans who went to the trip: Ms. Ann Green, Senator Jane Nelson, Mr. Chuck and Ms. Judy Williams, Ms. Harriet Little, Mr. Mike Rex, Ms. Ann Montgomery, Mr. Robin Quinn, Mr. Jim and Ms. Alice Tow, Mr. Glenn Repp, Ms. Laurie Jones, Ms. Kristi Robinson, Mr. Richard and Ms. Judith Wood goo.gl/C9xbvy

Appendix R: 2018_02_02 Crosetto’s Open Records Request submitted on February 2nd, 2018  goo.gl/LTZJJi

Appendix T: 2018_02_28 Letter from Crosetto to the Texas Attorney General goo.gl/suatwk

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