[nfbmi-talk] Fw:

joe harcz Comcast joeharcz at comcast.net
Fri Feb 10 11:19:55 CST 2012

This is simply insane...
----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Farmer, Mel (LARA)" <farmerm at michigan.gov>
To: "'Larry Posont'" <president.nfb.mi at gmail.com>; <jcscot at sbcglobal.net>; 
"laschuck" <laschuck at juno.com>; "Cannon, Patrick (LARA)" 
<cannonp at michigan.gov>; "Luzenski, Sue (LARA)" <LuzenskiS at michigan.gov>
Cc: "Warren, Tom (AG)" <WarrenT at michigan.gov>; "'joe harcz Comcast'" 
<joeharcz at comcast.net>; "Arwood, Steve (LARA)" <ArwoodS at michigan.gov>; 
"Brown, Melanie (LARA)" <BrownM45 at michigan.gov>
Sent: Friday, February 10, 2012 11:53 AM
Subject: RE:

Mr. Posont, please be informed of the following regarding my February 1, 
2012 response to your January 23, 2012 email request to Ms. Carla Haynes, 
Michigan Commission for the Blind (MCB) for existing, nonexempt public 
records on behalf of Mr Joseph Harcz you describe as "...all letters, 
evaluations, and Meeting Minutes that were between the Michigan Commission 
for the Blind, specifically, but not exclusively from Director Cannon,, and 
the Michigan Commission for the Blind Board of Commissioners from December 
8, to the present.":

1. You were informed that your request was being processed under the state's
   Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), MCL 15.231 et seq. The request is from
   you and not Mr. Harcz. Thusly, under MCL 15.235, Section 5(2) of the FOIA
   your request was granted; and per MCL 15.234, Sections 4(1)and 4(3) of
   the FOIA, you were assessed allowable estimated processing fees for the
   search, examination, review, and deletion and separation of exempt from
   nonexempt information. The estimated FOIA processing costs for this
   particular request ($533.38) were assessed to you because you, not Mr.
   Harcz, made the request. Had Mr. Harcz made the same request, he would
   have been assessed the same allowable FOIA processing costs of $533.38.

2. Published Department FOIA Policies/Procedures: As you may be aware, MCL
   15.234, Section 4(3) of the state's FOIA requires that "A public body
   shall establish and publish procedures and guidelines to implement this
   subsection." Section 5, FOIA Processing Costs of the Department's
   established and published FOIA Policies/Procedures/Guidelines manual,
   item E. Unreasonably High Costs Threshold, provides that "The
   Department's policy, per Section 4(3) of the FOIA, regarding the
   determination of "unreasonably high costs" to process certain FOIA
   requests is that all DELEG (now LARA) units shall charge a requester for
   any costs exceeding $25.00 labor costs to search for records; to
   examine/review records; to separate/redact exempt material; and mail
   records. As the FOIA requires that fees/rates not be dependent upon the
   identity of the requester, this policy provides uniform and consistent
   guidelines regarding Department costs to process FOIA requests." Thusly,
   the assessed costs are in accordance with state, as well as federal FOIA
   fee charge provisions.

3. Your January 12, 2012 Request for Advice from AAG Thomas Warren
   incorrectly allege the following:
   --That Mr. Harcz has repeatedly requested from the Department/MCB
     records/information described in your January 23, 2012 emailed request
     and that the requested records have not been sent to him. Our records,
     as clearly illustrated in my February 1, 2012 response to your request,
     indicates that between October 11, 2011 and January 23, 2012, the
     Department has responded to some 26 separate requests for
     records/information from Mr Harcz. Many of these requests are for the
     same records you allege that he has not received. However, the reason
     Mr. Harcz may not have received certain requested records/information
     granted him under the FOIA, is that he has failed to pay the allowable,
     assessed FOIA processing costs to search for the requested

  --That Mr. Cannon is not carrying out his responsibility to properly
    respond to Mr. Harcz's requests for existing, nonexempt public records.
    Whereas, Mr. Cannon is the Director of the MCB, the responsibility to
    respond to written requests for records/information in an agency of the
    Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs is under my jurisdiction.
    Pursuant to MCL 15.236, Section 6(1) of the FOIA, as the Departments
    duly designated FOIA Coordinator, I am responsible for " accepting and
    processing requests for the public body's public records..." as well as
    being responsible for approving denials. Thusly, to the best of my
    knowledge, information, and belief, all of Mr. Harcz's written requests
    for existing, nonexempt public records in the Department's/MCB's
    possession have been responded to in accordance with applicable
    provisions of state and federal FOIA laws/regulations.

4. AAG Thomas D. Warren's January 20, 2012 response to
   your January 12, 2012 inquiry regarding "foia ada 504 oma request to
   commissioner" indicates that:
   --You were provided a copy of the states FOIA statute
   --You were informed of the Department's designated FOIA Coordinators
     that process requests for MCB records/information.
   --You were advised that you "should forward Mr. Harcz's January 12,
     2012 e-mail to the MCB's FOIA coordinator for response." Further,
     You were advised that you were free to communicate to Mr. Harcz that
     you had forwarded his request to the (MCB) FOIA coordinator for
   --You were informed of the legal remedies available to a requesting party
     if they believe that a public body has violated the state's FOIA.

 5. Charging FOIA Request Expenses to the MCB: I do not believe that
    charging the expense for a FOIA request made on behalf of an individual,
    or yourself, is a valid charge to the MCB/Department as it negates the
    Department's ability to recover allowable FOIA processing costs.

I am copying Mr. Harcz on this and my February 1, 2012 response to you to 
let him know that you forwarded his January 12, 2012 request to the 
Department/MCB for processing; and that if he still wishes to obtain the 
records/information requested via you, he can make arrangements with the 
Department to pay the estimated $533.38 FOIA processing costs.

-----Original Message-----
From: Larry Posont [mailto:president.nfb.mi at gmail.com]
Sent: Thursday, February 09, 2012 8:48 PM
To: Farmer, Mel (LARA); president.nfb.mi at gmail.com; jcscot at sbcglobal.net; 
laschuck; Cannon, Patrick (LARA); Luzenski, Sue (LARA)
Cc: Warren, Tom (AG)

20812 Ann Arbor Trail
Dearborn Heights, MI 48127

February 9, 2012

Melvin Farmer
       Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs
       7150 Harris Drive, P.O. Box 30015
       Lansing, MI 48909

Dear Mr. Farmer:

As a board member of the Michigan Commission for the Blind, I received
a request from Joe Harcz for all Minutes, and items of other
correspondence sent from Patrick Cannon to Commissioners over a six
week period of time. This period began at the December 8 Commission
Board Meeting, and ended in mid January. Mr. Tom Warren, the Assistant
to the Attorney General instructed me to send this request to you and
Carla Haynes, since you are responsible for Freedom of Information
requests for the Michigan Commission for the Blind. I have documents
from Mr. Warren instructing me to send this to you. A Freedom of
Information Request that was sent by a citizen of Michigan to a
Commissioner is not the financial responsibility of the Commissioner.
As a volunteer, and Commission for the Blind Board member, I do not
intend to pay bills for Freedom of Information requests. That is,
unless I charge the expense to the Commission for the Blind as a
Commissioner. Since the Assistant to the Attorney General instructed
me to send this request, as official business as a Commissioner, it is
not my responsibility to pay the invoice for another citizen's Freedom
of Information Request. I have done as I was instructed by sending the
request of a citizen to the individuals who are responsible for
Freedom of Information requests.


Larry Posont, Commission for the Blind Board Member
                 The primary goal of the Commission for the Blind is the
gainful employment of Michigan's blind citizens. This is my primary
goal as a Commissioner.

(313) 271-3058
Email: president.nfb.mi at gmail.com 

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