In addition to being mayor, Michael Bloomberg has his massive data and media company, but he mixes businesses by using a private e-mail address to discuss public matters, DNAinfo reports. While open-records laws require city officials to turn over their work e-mails if requested in order to assure transparency, the mayor’s @bloomberg.net address is not subject to Freedom of Information Law.
“It’s an end run around public access to public documents,” said civil rights attorney Norman Siegel. (“Yes, people have personal email accounts,” argued a mayoral spokesperson. “It’s no different than everyone with a Gmail, Hotmail or Yahoo account.”) But it’s a common government trick, from Bush to Cuomo to Obama, and we already know how the Bloomberg administration feels about handing over e-mails: It spent $160,000 in a failed attempt to keep Cathie Black’s not-so-juicy ones private. This dodge, at least, is cheaper for taxpayers.