At 10:06pm, the FAA filed a “Response” to the Status Report filed in Rojas v. FAA 5. Along with the Status Report, the FAA filed over 10 declarations, along with a Vaughn Index identifying withheld records.
The FAA pleads the Court to allow it to assert exemptions – despite the Court ordering otherwise.
Defendants also recognize this Court’s admonition that it would not entertain requests to apply exemptions after the Court’s order on Defendants’ Motion for Summary Judgment. (Doc. 26.) Nevertheless, Defendants respectfully request that the Court exercise its discretion to allow consideration of the redactions and withholdings based on these exemptions for the following reasons.
Having acknowledged their responsibility for not asserting the exemptions in a timely manner, and presented this Court with their plan to ensure that FOIA exemptions are asserted in a timely manner in the future, Defendants suggest that the first extraordinary circumstance recognized in Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington is present here. The first prong has been met: the correct exemptions were not asserted due to pure human error. Defendants acknowledge this.
Following our Friday filing of a status report regarding the issues remaining in the litigation, Judge G. Murray Snow has ordered the parties to appear for a Status Conference in the next few weeks.
The subject of the DOT IG investigation, presumably Mr. Snow, alleged to have released answers for the BQ to ATCS applicants, provided contradictory information to DOT IG and FAA officials as to whether he “coached” individuals. FAA investigators say “It may be enough for the LOB to take action”, but clearly, no action seems to have been taken.
We wonder who’s picture this is.
We also wonder how the picture is:
records or information compiled for law enforcement purposes, but only to the extent that the production of such law enforcement records or information could reasonably be expected to constitute an unwarranted invasion of personal privacy.
Also, FAA stated in its response letter that the redactions under 7(C) were regarding “names and contact information” for DOT IG agents.
Along with investigating the allegations concerning the hiring process, FAA officials in the investigative branch of the FAA conducted a “Facebook Compilation” of Rojas.
The FAA did not provide the actual .docx, and we will be notifying the Court of the missing attachments.
We are currently reviewing the Snow investigation file.
Here’s a small gem, “he” refers to Rojas.
“Anyhow, more information is leaking out about the whole situation, and they are making all the minor discrepancies in information look as bad as possible.”
The FAA has indicated that it has mailed the Shelton Snow investigation file, pursuant to Court order.
We expect to receive the documents soon, and will then need to determine if any issues remain. Based on the FAA’s response letter, it appears that redactions were made outside of the confines of the Court’s order.
Additionally, pursuant to the Court’s order, the agency provided two additional declarations, which are supposed to both detail the search efforts along with describing why records that were found to be responsive before were no longer responsive.
Olson Declaration 20180309
Declaration Daniel Maggard 2016-9570
Less than one week remains for the FAA to provide the records responsive to the Shelton Snow investigation request. The known total of records is at least 3,000. 2,000 pages were previously identified, and the FAA has recently “found” more.
ORDER: The Unopposed Motion for Extension of Time to Provide Documents to Plaintiff 28 is granted. The deadline for Defendants to provide documents to Plaintiff in response to FOIA Request 9570 pursuant to this Court’s Order 27 , is extended until March 9, 2018. Defendants will provide Plaintiff, by March 9, 2018, with a declaration detailing and describing the search performed, along with an explanation of the reasons why records were identified as potentially responsive and then later found not responsive. IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that the deadline for Plaintiff to inform this Court whether this action may be dismissed is extended until March 16, 2018. Signed by Judge G Murray Snow on 2/21/2018. (REK) (Entered: 02/21/2018)