This ruling from the State Supreme Court (3rd Department) involves the denial access to records demonstrating what work was done for the Columbia County by lawyer Tal Rappelyea. Pflaum sent a Freedom of Information Law (FOIL) request to the County, which was denied by County Attorney Rob Fitzsimmons. The denial was made on the dual basis that Pflaum allegedly did not adequately describe the records specifically enough, and that they constituted privileged work product. The court rejected both bases, instructing the County to allow Pflaum to inspect the records (in person if necessary to protect any redactable material).
Pflaum had researched and published billing records gathered from around the region which appear to show a backbreaking workload by Rappelyea, including bills from a one-day period to various government entities which totaled excess of 24 hours of work—which of course, would not be humanly possible.
Pflaum’s characteristically pungeant commentary on the ruling can be found here.