Dept of Health

On January 22, 2010 I applied to the Department of Health under the Freedom of Information Act for documents leading this government agency to publicly announce that raccoons tested by that agency taken from Central Park tested positive for rabies.

On January 26, 2010 I received an acknowledgement letter in the mail that the Department of Health received my request and that they will respond within twenty business days.

Today, March 9, 2010 makes it thirty-two business days and I have not received any communication from them.

I am determined to hold this assumed trustworthy government agency responsible for substantiating their claim that they did find rabid raccoons. The original intention of my FOIL request was to pressure the DOH to address and eradicate other health threats to Central Park like cigarette smoking. I was prepared to argue with them the importance they put on rabies over the lack of attention to the much more and deadly tobacco smoking.

Now it appears that they have thrown me off my original goal. From press reports and signs posted around Central Park it would appear that if 'test results' did 'come back' positive there should be no issue or delay in providing me that/those documents as they are required to by Law.
I would not even harbor any thoughts that the Department of Health in conjunction with the NYC Parks & Recreation and the Central Park Conservancy conspired to propagate untrue information about innocent wild animals. I will never give that horrible possibility any second thought so for now I will embark on my determined quest for the facts to know the truth from the Department of Health.

If you think I'm being unreasonable and that I should give them more time to provide the documents do bear in mind that I am still waiting on a similar FOIL request from the NYC Parks & Recreation from June 2009.


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The information you have provided is as follows:
Form: Customer Comment
Topic: Other Health Matters
City, State Zip: NEW YORK, NY 10019
Country: United States
Work Phone: (917) XXX-XXXX
The DOH has not yet responded to my FOIL request dated January 22, 2010.
Case : 10-01-266
In an acknowledgement letter dated Jan 26, 2010, I was promised to have the documents within 20 business days.
Thus far I have not received any communication from the DOH since their acknowledgement letter.
The DOH has officially broken the Freedom of Information Law.

Lincoln Karim

Dept of State

Committee on Open Government

To check status of FOIL request: 212 788-4705 / case # 2010FR00352

March 31, 2010:

Mailed check to address below.

March 30, 2010:

Spoke to female at DOH (212 788-4705) to inform her that I have not received the letter asking for payment. She told me to mail a check to:

Department of Health

Environment Health

Att: S Flemming

125 Worth Street Box66

New York NY 10013

March 26, 2010:

Spoke to female at DOH (212 788-4705) who told me that a letter was sent to me requesting payment ($1.50) once the payment is received I'll be getting 6 pages of documents.

Summer 2010:
I did finally receive three in-house generated generic documents from the DOH which simply states:
"Raccoon recived" "tested positive for rabies".
There is no practical way for me to find the truth since the DOH can generate any document they want. The fact that they delayed sending be the documentation will keep me suspicious of them.