The Staten Island Republicans who filed a lawsuit against the city to stop it from purging the databanks of its municipal identification program—believed to contain the personal information of thousands of undocumented said they will “pursue further options” to prevent it after a judge ruled in the city’s favor.
Staten Island Supreme Court Justice Phillip Minardo ruled this morning that Assemblywoman Nicole Malliotakis and Assemblyman Ronald Castorina lacked legal standing to sue the city over its plans to purge the files of the IDNYC program, which was crafted to grant a government-verified proof of identity to those lacking other forms of paperwork. The City Council deliberately inserted language in the legislation that created the identification cards that granted the city power to wipe the records at the end of 2016, in the event that a deportation-happy president assumed power in Washington—but the GOP pols filed a Freedom of Information Law request for the documents, then sued to stop the city from destroying them.
Malliotakis said it’s “disappointing” they lost on a “procedural issue of standing as opposed to the merits of the case,” and promised to press ahead—reiterating concerns that expunging the records could compromise future criminal investigations.
“What does it mean if a government entity is allowed to destroy documents that are FOILable and subject to judicial inquiries, and could be used to aid law enforcement?” she said in an emailed statement. “We intend to pursue further options to prevent the mayor’s irresponsible actions that put all New Yorkers at risk.”