Request to the Town of Chevy Chase Council
For Documents about Lobbyists
This is a request under the Maryland Public Information Act, State Government Article §§10-611 to 630 from The Action Committee for Transit (ACT). We wish to inspect all records in your custody and control pertaining to the following:
(1) The retention agreement and any associated contract(s) between the Town of Chevy Chase and the firm of Buchanan, Ingersoll & Rooney.
(2) Any invoices or bills from the firm of Buchanan, Ingersoll & Rooney to the Town of Chevy Chase, whether paid or unpaid.
(3) All correspondence between the Town of Chevy Chase, the Town Council and/or individual council members and Buchanan, Ingersoll & Rooney.
(4) All minutes of all meetings between the Town Council and/or individual council members and Buchanan, Ingersoll & Rooney, including a list of the attendees at each meeting.
We request that Mayor Burda recuse herself from the deliberations regarding this request to avoid any actual, potential or perceived conflict of interest. Mayor Burda told the Washington Post in an article published on January 26, 2014 that “We’re not lobbying Congress.” However, a lobbying disclosure form filed by Buchanan, Ingersoll & Rooney states that the firm was hired by the Town of Chevy Chase to lobby both the US Senate and the US House of Representatives on behalf of the Town. Given that the Mayor's public statement contradicts the lobbying disclosure form, we are concerned that she may have a conflict of interest in making these records public.
We also request that Councilmember Bickerman recuse himself from the deliberations regarding this request to avoid any actual, potential or perceived conflict of interest. Mr. Bickerman at a January 8th public hearing stated in no uncertain terms that he has mediated a variety of cases involving and even “with” Buchanan, Ingersoll & Rooney. He appears, therefore, to have both a financial and professional conflict of interest in this matter.
If all or any part of this request is denied, we request that ACT be provided with a written statement of the grounds for the denial. If you determine that some portions of the requested records are exempt from disclosure, please provide ACT with the portions that can be disclosed.
Please advise ACT as to the cost, if any, for inspecting the records described above. We anticipate that ACT will want copies of all of the records sought. If you have adopted a fee schedule for obtaining copies of records and other rules or regulations implementing the Act, please send ACT a copy.
We look forward to receiving disclosable records promptly and, in any event, to a decision about all of the requested records within 30 days. Thank you for your cooperation. If you have any questions regarding this request, please telephone Tina Slater, ACT VP at 301 585-5038.
Ronit Aviva Dancis, Vice-President
Action Committee for Transit