Bay Ridge

Malliotakis IDNYC lawsuit goes back to court Jan. 5

Lawmaker seeks to stop destruction of records

December 22, 2016 By Paula Katinas Brooklyn Daily Eagle
Assemblymembers Ron Castorina and Nicole Malliotakis are looking forward to their day in court. Photo courtesy of Malliotakis’ office

Assemblymember Nicole Malliotakis is spending the holiday season preparing for another day in court over her lawsuit to stop the de Blasio administration from destroying records of IDNYC card applications. A judge has set a hearing date of Jan. 5.

Hon. Philip Minardo also urged Mayor Bill de Blasio and City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito to appear at the Jan. 5 hearing in State Supreme Court on Staten Island to testify in person.

On Wednesday, Malliotakis (R-C-Bay Ridge-Staten Island) and her fellow plaintiff Assemblymember Ron Castorina claimed another victory after the judge refused the city’s request to move the court hearing from Staten Island to Manhattan.

Earlier, the New York State Appellate Division upheld a temporary restraining order issued by a lower court ruling to prevent the city from destroying the IDNYC records for the time being.

“Victory in court today. We were successful in restraining Mayor de Blasio and Council Speaker Mark-Viverito from destroying the IDNYC records,” Malliotakis wrote on her Facebook page on Wednesday.

Malliotakis and Castorina (R-C-Staten Island) contend that the records of IDNYC applicants should be stored by the city in the interest of public safety.

“This data could be helpful in the future to investigate a crime perpetrated with the use of an IDNYC card,” Malliotakis said.  

The de Blasio administration maintained that the destruction of cardholders’ personal information is written into the city law that created the IDNYC program. The mayor has ordered agencies to destroy the records to protect the privacy of cardholders.

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The move to get rid of the records, which contain personal information about each applicant like birthdates and Social Security numbers, was made following the election of Donald Trump, who has vowed to deport undocumented immigrants.

Malliotakis and Castorina accused the de Blasio administration of playing politics. “The mayoral administration is not entitled to enact statutes that circumvent the Freedom of Information Law, and should not be able to pick and choose which laws it wishes to follow according to the political affiliation of whoever might occupy the White House,” the two lawmakers said in a joint statement.

IDNYC cards are available to all New Yorkers, including undocumented immigrants. The cards are an accepted form of government-issued identification and can be used to open a bank account.

The mayor is standing his ground. “The whole idea of IDNYC was to give people an opportunity in this city to live a better life for themselves and their families, to have a deeper connection to the city and the city government. But the reason people were willing to trust us was we made very clear that there would never be a situation where it would lead to their deportation. And we’re going to keep that pledge and it’s also part of our law,” the Staten Island Advance quoted de Blasio as saying.

Meanwhile, Malliotakis is coming under fire from Democrats in Bay Ridge.

Leaders of the Bay Ridge Democrats club are urging their members to flood the Republican lawmaker’s offices with phone calls to demand that she drop the lawsuit.

Kristen Pettit, chairperson of the Bay Ridge Democrats’ Action Committee, sent an email to club members on Dec. 13 urging them to call Malliotakis’ district offices in Brooklyn and Staten Island to voice their objections to the lawsuit.

“Governments keeping a list of ‘potential criminals’ and gathering their personal information under false pretenses damages the very fabric of our Constitutional freedoms,” Pettit wrote in her email.

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