On Friday, according to this post, Chevron submitted to the office of the New York State Comptroller a request under New York’s Freedom of Information Law for documents regarding connections between the Comptroller’s office and plaintiffs’ representatives in the long-running $113 billion shakedown lawsuit involving the oil giant in Ecuador.
Chevron is seeking documents under FOIL, according to the post, in order to shed further light on the assistance provided by Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli and his predecessor, Alan Hevesi, to the plaintiffs’ lawyers and consultants involved in the fraudulent litigation against Chevron. Documentary evidence obtained through U.S. court-ordered discovery reveals a connection between financial contributions made by the Lago Agrio plaintiffs’ representatives and the Comptroller’s issuance of official public statements in support of the plaintiffs.
Loyal readers of this blog know that I was on the same track two years ago.
On May 28, 2009, I put New York’s Freedom of Information Law to the test, requesting “copies of all paper and electronic correspondence between Attorney General Andrew Cuomo and any and all representatives of the Amazon Defense Coalition with whom he communicated during the past 12 months.“
Seven days later, I received a reply from Amy C. Karp, an assistant counsel in Cuomo’s office. Karp informed me that “the Office of the Attorney General has conducted a diligent search and does not possess any records” of contact with representatives of ADC, the over-the-top-zealous group behind the class-action lawsuit filed against the nation’s second-largest oil company 18 years ago.
Returning to the present day, it will be interesting to see whether New York state officials respond to Chevron the same way they responded to me.
EDITOR’S NOTE: Shakedown in the Rain Forest Nears End in Court, my most-recent piece about the Chevron-Ecuador lawsuit, offers a good recap of the lawsuit to date.
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