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Final Freedom of Information Update: Maria Cudequest's Attempts to Control Public Discourse Quashed

November 6, 2007

It’s official! There can be no private conduits of communication between individuals and officials of the Village.

That, in a nutshell, is the opinion of Village Attorney James Staudt delivered at the Village Board meeting November 5, 2007, in response to the inquiry of Trustee Ann Gallelli. Every e-mail communication to or from the Mayor or a Trustee, whether at the Village’s e-mail address or a personal e-mail address, becomes part of the Village’s official record and therefore can be made available to any member of the public.

Attorney Staudt’s opinion effectively sounds the death knell for any past or future attempts by Maria Cudequest to restrict dissemination of her communications to the Mayor and Village Board members. It has been her practice to bombard these officials with communications bearing her notice prohibiting circulation of the contents of her messages.

The sinister side of this affair is that while loudly proclaiming her adherence to open communication and scorning others for choosing the privacy of anonymity, she has been conducting what borders on private and clandestine correspondence behind the public’s back. Crotonblog has wondered why her hectoring lectures at Village Board meetings have been less frequent of late. Now we know.

In the history of the Church, sinners often have become saints. It’s always disappointing when a saint, even a self-appointed saint, turns out to be a sinner.

Related:

On November 7, 2007 2:41 PM, Just The Facts said:

So has anyone made a FOIL request? I would like to see all past emails as well. The village’s attorney incidacted that any messages to any trustee, even to a personal email address, is public record. The Mayor and his cohorts should be put on notice not to delete those emails and to the extent that they do, they should be forewarned of the consequences.

On November 7, 2007 12:05 PM, red hill resident said:

So, lets see the email. I want to know what Maria thought was so important that she couldn’t share with Croton residents. Are we so weak that we can’t handle her truth?

On November 7, 2007 9:14 AM, weewill said:

Crotonblog has provided yet one more important service to Village taxpayers. By uncovering the subterfuge of “confidential” and exclusionary emails to our elected officials they have exposed the shameful manner in which Ms. Cudequest has tried to control and direct policy decisions. Even more important, they have indeed “sounded the death knoll” to this devious practice.

Once again she’s been caught with her “fingers in the cookie jar”. Perhaps now she will finally get the message that we are a village made up of good and caring neighbors who try to work together for the good of the village - not to divide and conquer for personal glorification.



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