Activists File Lawsuit Against City Over Redacted East River Park Report
A slew of waterfront advocates are turning the screws to stop the destruction of East River Park.
East River Park ACTION, the Grand Street Democrats club and a gaggle of political candidates and local activists filed a lawsuit on Friday (April 2) against Mayor de Blasio, demanding that the redacted passages of the Value Engineering Study for the East Side Coastal Resiliency project be unhidden and made public. The city’s Office of Management and Budget is also named by attorney Jack Lester.
Plaintiffs claim that the study, dubbed “East Side Coastal Resiliency Elevated Park Alternative Feasibility Analysis,” allegedly contains — hidden in the river of redactions — the “rationale” for why the city scrapped a previous, simpler resiliency proposal in favor of the new $1.45 billion plan. For instance, the groups previously cited a section purporting to compare the advantages and disadvantages of the new plan, with the latter seemingly outweighing the former.
“Information supporting New York City’s decision to expend more than $1 billion on a project to ameliorate and mitigate climate change and flood hazards in Lower Manhattan is contained within a document that is being substantially concealed from the public,” court documents allege. “Remarkably, the City at first, denied the very existence of a published report,” the suit says. “After an alleged search of City records, the report was located. However, when the report was released, it was so redacted as to be incomprehensible.”
Moreover, the concealment was “arbitrary and capricious” and “violated the public’s right to know” under the Freedom of Information Law, the lawsuit further claims.
Other plaintiffs attached to the lawsuit include Erin Hussein, who is running against Councilmember Carlina Rivera in the District 2 Democratic primary; mayoral candidate Dianne Morales; District 2 candidate Allie Ryan; Lindsey Boylan, a candidate for Manhattan borough president; and District 1 Council candidate Christopher Marte.