F.C. City Manager: Mayor Sought Review Of City’s Compliance With FOIA Laws

In response to an article in today’s News-Press documenting a weekend of Falls Church City Council violations of Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) law, F.C. City Manager issued a letter to the editor of the News-Press this morning stating that Mayor Nader Baroukh contacted the City Attorney’s Office in the course of Sunday’s “reply all” email exchanges to make “a request for his review of this FOIA issue.”

Shields also announced that all the email correspondences among Council members and City staff on the subject of Sunday’s illegal violations, pertaining to the future uses of the Child Development Center, have been posted for public scrutiny on the City’s website.

The following is the text of Shields’ letter to the News-Press today:


The City takes seriously its obligations under the Freedom of Information Act, including the requirement for open meetings. FOIA is a highly technical statute that is subject to interpretation. Therefore, on Sunday night (June 5), Mayor Baroukh immediately forwarded to the City Attorney a request for his review of this FOIA issue.

It is City policy to encourage open and transparent government. The City Council holds public work sessions and meetings nearly every Monday throughout the year, all of which are broadcast on local cable and available on the City web site. Similarly, all e-mails exchanged between council members, staff, and board members related to City business are public documents. To that end, the City has posted all e-mails on the proposed 201 N. Cherry Street Task Force in which all City Council members were cc’d. The emails can be reviewed here

The City Council will be discussing the process for reviewing options for the future use of the City property at 201 N. Cherry Street at its upcoming regular meeting on Monday, June 13.

Wyatt Shields
City Manager