$11,525.49.Posted: October 11, 2019
You might be wondering, why the flurry of posts? I have been searching for my notes of my discussions with “Sebastian” after a reader posted a really valid comment after watching Children of the Snow. I can’t find the notes–I have allowed many people access to my information and while I have no regrets about that, the information is never, ever returned the same way I gave it. I will respond to the comment later by memory. In the meantime I have found so many documents that cry out to be made public.
First, the friendly letter from Assistant FOIA Coordinator Linda Ortiz dated January 12, 2010, describing the deal they will give my Dad on non-exempt records relating to Chris Busch and Greg Green. This was after my Dad and my brother had filed a FOIA request and then a lawsuit when the MSP initially told them to fuck off. At least the $11,525.49 was less than the $800,000 figure quoted to web sleuth Helen Dagner when she requested documents on the entire OCCK case.
Next, my notes on the first two big binders of documents. In a classic penny-wise, pound-foolish fashion, no one would agree with me that we should make two sets of copies of the documents so that one would stay in pristine order and the second could be reviewed simultaneously. No, the one set would be parsed out–a few binders at a time. When I was done reading, I could return and then the next set would be sent. In fairness, the $11K sticker shock might have influenced this. However, over the years many people from then news media, authors , videographers and podcasters have been given access to the documents. Again, this is ultimately for a greater good, but it means some chunks of documents end up out of order and then a big search has to happen to locate them.
The numbers I reference are the Bates stamps placed at the bottom of the FOIA pages when they were received by the law firm. As always, despite the $41.33/hour and $66.63/hour the MSP allegedly paid staff to separate exempt and non-exempt materials, there are numerous redaction errors. Names show up that maybe shouldn’t and probably many pages which were really not exempt were excluded from production.
But what is contained in those FOIA documents, even with redactions, is pretty eye-opening. This is just a sample of my notes.