A lawsuit was filed today in the New York District Court to demand information about the files related to the process of appointing the members of the Fiscal Control Board, specifically the documents related to ethical conflicts and the financial disclosures that were required, as well as other details of the creation of the entity by the PROMESA federal Act. The lawsuit was filed by the Center for Investigative Journalism, LatinoJustice PRLDEF and the Center for Constitutional Rights against the U.S. Department of Treasury under the Freedom of Information Act (“FOIA”.)
Plaintiffs filed their original request for information in 2017, stating the Department of Treasury breached its legal obligation by not responding timely to the FOIA request, despite having admitted that it has located the documents. The lawsuit outlines 15 types of requests that include criteria used to evaluate the members of the control board, which agencies intervened, the documents submitted by each candidate for the board, how the agency or other agencies established criteria and evaluated potential conflicts of interest, and any relevant information concerning the professional and personal background of each candidate that was used in their assessment, among others. “Having access to these documents takes on new relevance when the re-nomination of current candidates is before the consideration of Congress and when the expiration of their term approaches in August. In addition, a federal appeals court has said that the way in which the current members were appointed was unconstitutional, which makes our request and demand to understand how the vetting process for candidates was managed by Treasury more pertinent,” said Carla Minet, Executive Director of the Center for Investigative Journalism (CPI, for its initials in Spanish.)
The Treasury’s delay in producing the documents adds to the refusal by the Fiscal Control Board to the petition for some of the same materials about its members, such as the financial disclosure reports.