The City of Greensboro is continuing to play games with the public records regarding the domestic violence incident involving City Manager Tai Jaiyeoba that occurred on Wednesday, Dec. 28, 2023.
The first request for public records about that incident – a request for the 911 call made on Jan. 15 – was not fulfilled until Jan. 23. Most requests for 911 calls made to the city’s public records office are fulfilled in one day.
On Jan. 29, Amiel Rossabi of Rossabi Law Partners made a lengthy and detailed request for public records including text messages and phone records concerning the incident at the home of Jaiyeoba at 10 Postbridge Court on Dec. 28.
Needless to say, this request has not been completed and the city is up to its usual tricks of delay and obfuscation.
A full week later, on Monday, Feb. 5, Greensboro Public Records Request Administrator Kurt Brenneman responded to Rossabi’s request, not with the public records requested, but with an attempt to severely limit the emails that the city would search for in the data base.
The city could have conducted its limited search and provided those documents, noting that it was not a complete response to the request, but that would have put those documents out in the public.
The response from Brenneman states, “The Greensboro Technology Department will search the City’s email archive for all emails responsive to your public records request.” And then limits the search terms to only a few of the terms that Rossabi requested.
But emails are not the only public records that the city has in its possession, and all public records, not just emails, are, according to the state Public Records Law, to be provided to the public when requested.
Rossabi in his response notes that Brenneman’s email only relates to three of the six items in Rossabi’s request.
Rossabi also states, “Third, with respect to the proposed scope of the search – only to “All City email accounts” – I do not approve you searching only all City email accounts. I specifically request that you modify the search to include the cell phones of the people to whom the PIRT was addressed. It is significantly more likely that the involved parties would have communicated by cell phone, as opposed to email, in order to cover-up their actions. I also request that you include handwritten or typed notes, whether or not they are contained in or part of an email.”
It’s anybody’s guess as to how long the city will negotiate the terms of the public records request before making any of the public records public, but for a betting man, a good over/under might be whether Rossabi will get the public records requested before or after the city completes the Downtown Greenway, which was started in 2001.