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Judge: NYPD officers can sue to keep disciplinary records secret

The judge's decision stems from a dispute over whether police officers can sue to prevent NYPD brass from releasing redacted disciplinary filings.


By Victoria Bekiempis
New York Daily News

NEW YORK — A judge decided Tuesday he will let NYPD rank-and-file cops pursue their lawsuit over department plans to disclose their disciplinary records.

Manhattan Supreme Court Justice Arthur Engoron’s decision stems from a dispute over whether police officers can sue to prevent NYPD brass from releasing redacted disciplinary filings.

The Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association lawsuit maintains that releasing the files violates Section 50-a of the 1976 state civil rights law — which bars releasing disciplinary files.

The PBA filed suit in April, shortly after NYPD honchos revealed their plans — which also marked a dramatic change from previous department policy to keep those documents under wraps.

City lawyers had asked Engoron to throw out the case, claiming cops don’t have the right to sue over the policy under 50-a.

Engoron disagreed. He will let the PBA’s case go forward for now, writing that “based on the law, common sense, and simple justice, the cross-motion is denied.”

PBA President Patrick Lynch lauded Engoron’s decision, saying in a statement, “We are hopeful that the judge will uphold the will of the Legislature when he rules on the merits of our suit."

The city Law Department issued a statement regarding the ruling.

“While the Court did not elect to dismiss this case based on the procedural infirmities we raised, we believe that, on the merits, dismissal remains warranted, and we look forward to presenting those grounds to the court,” it said.

©2018 New York Daily News

McClatchy-Tribune News Service

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