Mayor Adams is refusing to release a stack of potentially damning documents showing the city hushed up warnings of dangerous air and health threats to New Yorkers after 9/11 unless the city is granted immunity from lawsuits, sources told the Post.
The tough stance comes as two members of New York’s Congress are asking the mayor to release all records that have been locked away since the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks.
“It has been 21 years since 9/11 and the city has still not provided any information about what it knew after the attacks. There are thousands of 9/11 responders and survivors who have a right to this information,” Rep. Carolyn Maloney said in a statement last week.
Maloney and Rep. Jerry Nadler are urging Adams — an ex-cop and 9/11 responder — to open the city’s files on what then-Mayor Rudy Giuliani and his administration knew from the start about health risks facing thousands of New Yorkers are exposed to dust and smoke at Ground Zero but kept the alarming information secret.
Sources confirmed Saturday a New York Times report that a memo dated in early October 2001 to then-Deputy Mayor Robert Harding from an assistant warned the city of up to 10,000 liability claims, “including toxic torts, that could occur in the next few decades.” “.
That document, which remains unreleased, “is privileged,” officials claim.
Other documents are under review, “but are being held due to the existence of ongoing and potential litigation.”
City attorneys have told Nadler and Maloney that Adams might release the documents if the FBI granted the city immunity from further litigation.
Adams also wants to keep nearly $300 million in a $1 billion defense fund set aside by Congress shortly after 9/11 to pay for World Trade Center cleanup claims, they said.
This fund, operated by an organization called WTC Captive Insurance Co., settled a class action lawsuit filed by 10,000 Ground Zero responders in 2010 and paid more than $700 million. However, since the reopening of the Federal Fund for Compensation for Victims of 9/11 in 2011, it has been largely inactive for a decade with few exceptions. 11-related illness — and who are waiving their right to sue.
Among other groups, 9/11 Environmental Action wants transparency. Principal Kimberly Flynn said the city “continues to cover up catastrophic decisions” that advocates say failed to protect 9/11 workers and those who lived, worked and went to school in Lower Manhattan.
“It’s a disgrace and another betrayal of New Yorkers’ trust,” she said.
Andrew Carboy, an attorney for 9/11 responders, said the city has a long history of withholding important documents. In 2010, Carboy discovered that it had deliberately withheld a 25-page “respiratory protection program” that mandated safety gear for FDNY personnel in the event of disasters — including a building collapse.
The city called the document “irrelevant” but was asked to release it. It was revealed that firefighters lacked “air-purifying respirators” as they dug at Ground Zero amid dust and smoke.
Carboy’s company then requested the city to turn over all other documents it said were “protected from disclosure.” But the issue soon became moot when the city reached the $700 million settlement.
“All of this should have been disclosed decades ago,” Carboy said of the hidden records. “Shame on you.”
https://nypost.com/2022/09/10/nyc-refusing-to-release-9-11-records-without-lawsuit-immunity/ NYC refuses to release 9/11 recordings without lawsuit immunity