There is little the public knows about the conversations Mayor Bill de Blasio has with his so-called "agents of the city," so NY1 filed a request to view some of those e-mails. NY1's Grace Rauh filed the following report.
Mayor Bill de Blasio likes to share news stories with his so-called "agents of the city."
After a former aide, Peter Ragone, sent de Blasio an Associated Press story about the mayor's attempt to push the Democratic presidential candidates to the left, the mayor forwarded the article, just before midnight, to two key outside advisers: Jonathan Rosen, who co-founded the political PR firm BerlinRosen, and John Del Cecato, a Democratic strategist. He included a comment with the story as well, but the city redacted it.
Rosen and Del Cecato are among five outside advisers to the mayor with special status at City Hall. The mayor's lawyers have argued that they are protected from certain public records requests, even though they are not employees of the city.
NY1 and the New York Post have sued the mayor over his refusal to turn over emails between top city officials, including himself, and Rosen.
In this case, though, the city did turn over some e-mails to NY1. But while we received 87 pages of e-mails in all, we learned that when the mayor had something to say, it was often blacked out.
When de Blasio sent a New York Times story about stagnant middle-class incomes to top city advisers, Del Cecato and his wife, Chirlane McCray, his note to the group was redacted.
It was the same with a New Yorker story about Hillary Clinton that he forwarded to his wife and Del Cecato. The mayor's message is blocked.
"These emails show how ridiculous it is to designate these consultants as agents of the city," said Dick Dadey of Citizens Union. "These emails, in particular, are benign. They are talking about political stories and news stories, and for them to be protecting the mayor's comments just shows how ridiculous this whole matter is.
De Blasio's handling of his emails have also raised complaints that he is failing to live up to the transparency promises he made as a candidate for City Hall.
City Hall did not respond to a request for comment.