Score another big win for The Post and the cause of government transparency — and a huge loss for Mayor de Blasio’s efforts to keep his secret e-mails with those “agents of the city” out of the public eye.
A five-judge Appellate Division panel on Tuesday unanimously upheld a lower-court ruling that the mayor must disclose all of his communications with outside consultants like Jonathan Rosen.
The ruling came in response to a lawsuit filed by The Post’s Yoav Gonen and NY1’s Grace Rauh after City Hall rejected their Freedom of Information Law requests.
After persuasive arguments by Post lawyer Jeremy Chase and NY1 lawyer Doug Maynard, team de Blasio “had no reasonable basis to withhold the documents,” wrote Justice Anal Singh, calling its decision to do so entirely “without merit.”
Indeed, he added, keeping the e-mails secret would run “counter to the public’s interest in transparency and the ability to participate on important issues of municipal governance.”
Rosen, after all, isn’t just a mayoral adviser. He also represents private clients with business interests before the city. As Singh noted: “These documents include examples of the mayor and Mr. Rosen discussing issues important to [his] private clients.”
Even as he does that, though, Rosen and his powerhouse lobbying firm, BerlinRosen, have operated as a shadow government at de Blasio’s City Hall — even drafting press releases.
They also were hired by the mayor’s now-defunct political slush fund, the Campaign for One New York.
In November 2016, de Blasio agreed to turn over 1,550 pages of “secret agent” e-mails and said all future communications would be made public. But he had no intention of turning over key messages from his first three years.
Now the courts have made clear that the public’s right to know overrides Bill de Blasio’s desperate bid to keep the sordid details of his mayoralty secret.
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