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#3040: Guiliani Sued Over Records Release (fwd)


Tuesday March 28 8:51 PM ET 
 Guiliani Sued Over Records Release
 By BETH J. HARPAZ, Associated Press Writer 

 NEW YORK (AP) - The city's public advocate asked a judge Tuesday to
determine whether Mayor Rudolph Giuliani broke the law when he released
sealed criminal records of a man who was fatally shot during a
 confrontation with police. Mark Green also asked the court to determine
how Giuliani and his police commissioner, Howard Safir, obtained
 the information. ``The only way these records, under the law, can be
publicly released is by a court order, not a mayoral fiat,''
 Green said. Green said he's not seeking any penalty.``My goal is that
if a court rules that the mayor acted illegally and abused his power,
this will stop him from doing this again,'' Green said. ``No mayor
should unilaterally decide to do it because it politically advantages
him in a public controversy.'' Told of Green's attempt to declare the
release of the records illegal, Giuliani responded: ``I'm willing to
defend it anywhere.'' Patrick Dorismond, 26, was shot March 16 in
Manhattan after undercover officers asked him if he knew where
 they could buy drugs. Shortly after the shooting, Dorismond's criminal
records - a robbery arrest at age 13, and adult arrests for gun
 possession and assault - were given out at a City Hall press
conference. Giuliani said Tuesday that the records came from the police
department and that the Corporation Counsel, the city's legal arm, had
advised him it was legal to release them because privacy rights end with
death. However, Giuliani acknowledged that the law does not explicitly
authorize the post-mortem release of sealed records. ``It is silent on
that,'' Giuliani conceded.``So the area is clearly ambiguous.''Green
disagreed. ``The records are sealed, and there is nothing in any statute
that this ends with the death of a person,'' Green said. A hearing on
whether Green's case should proceed was scheduled for April 13.