Oct. 20, 2014, Fairfax, Va.—New York State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman filed a suit against a franchise restaurant operator alleging under-payment of employee wages issuing a release announcing the prosecution on October 16, which included a statement from union organizing activist Kendall Fells of the organization Fast Food Forward. Americans for Limited Government filed a Freedom of Information Law (FOIL) request with the state Attorney Generals’ office on October 20, 2014, seeking communications between the Office and Fells who was quoted in the political campaign style release. Nathan Mehrens, president of Americans for Limited Government, announced the FOIL request stating:
“The New York State Attorney General’s inclusion of union organizing activist Kendall Fells of the organization Fast Food Forward in a press release announcing a lawsuit for alleged under-payment of employee wages raises the question of whether the action is advocacy or law enforcement.
“If Fells was part of the AG’s investigative team and privy to legal actions before they became public, this taints the investigation with the stench of labor union organizing politics.
“To discover whether the relationship between Fells and the New York AG’s office tarnishes the activities of that office, Americans for Limited Government has filed a Freedom of Information Law (FOIL) request asking for all records of communication between any officer or employee in the Office of the Attorney General and Kendall Fells regarding the Attorney General’s suit specific to the prosecution encompassed by the New York state AG’s press release, as well as their communications regarding any other subject.
“The people of New York have the right to assume that the law is being prosecuted evenly, and that undue political influences are not tarnishing its prosecution.
“Unfortunately, the press release issued by the state’s Attorney General announcing a lawsuit and including an advocacy group’s comment lead a reasonable person to believe that there was collusion which may not have been lawful or ethical. It is our hope that the FOIL request will erase any questions in this matter.”
“A.G. Schneiderman Sues Papa John’s Franchisee For Underpaying More Than 400 Delivery Workers; Seeking More Than $2 Million,” Oct. 16, 2014 at http://www.ag.ny.gov/press-release/ag-schneiderman-sues-papa-johns-franchisee-underpaying-more-400-delivery-workers
Freedom of Information Law Request to NYS Attorney General’s Office, Americans for Limited Government, Oct. 20, 2014 at http://algfoiafiles.com/images/9/9e/NY_FOIL_Request_Atty_Gen_Kendall_Fells_10.20.14.pdf
Information page on FOIL request, Oct. 20, 2014 at http://algfoiafiles.com/index.php?title=Communications_with_Fast_Food_Forward
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