by Robert Lederman
On Friday 3/1/2002 subpoenas to appear for depositions and to produce all relevant documents were served on former NYC Mayor Rudolph Giuliani, a number of his key aides and others associated with him in an ongoing Federal lawsuit, Lederman et al v Giuliani 98 Civ. 2024 (LMM).
Federal judge Lawrence M. McKenna ruled in favor of Lederman and the other street artists in this case on August 17, 2001 but discovery (depositions, turning over documents etc.) was delayed due to the WTC attack on 9/11.
In his ruling banning the City from enforcing the Parks Department artist permit, Judge McKenna stated: "Lederman, having alleged that he was improperly arrested as a result of being "targeted" by the Giuliani Administration (Am. Compl. P 198), should have an opportunity to seek discovery on this matter."
In eight years as Mayor, Giuliani successfully avoided subpoenas to testify at all depositions by claiming his "official duties" were too important to allow him to appear. Now that he and his staff are no longer in office this excuse no longer exists.
Besides Rudolph Giuliani subpoenas were served on Roger Hertog, chairman of the board of The Manhattan Institute (where Giuliani claims to get all of his ideas); William Leurs and Phillipe de Montebello, heads of the Metropolitan Museum of Art (they issued a joint memo in 1998 claiming the Met was not in favor of the artist permit); Howard Rubenstein, who has handled Giuliani's public relations for eight years; Bruce Teiltelbaum, a top political advisor to the Mayor; Christyne Lategano, Giuliani's press secretary until he ran for the Senate; Sunny Mindel, Giuliani's subsequent press secretary; Regina Perrugi, Giuliani's first wife and head of the Central Park Conservancy (CPC is a defendant in the lawsuit); Howard Safir, former NYPD Commissioner; Marilyn Mode, former NYPD spokeswoman who told reporters Lederman had never been arrested and was "delusional"; Henry Stern, former Commissioner of the Parks Department; Thomas Rozinski, former lead counsel for the Parks Department; Adrian Benepe, current Commissioner of Parks; Jack Linn, the Parks Department official in charge of the artist permit who supervised many of the arrests outside the Metropolitan Museum of Art in 1998; and a number of NYPD, Parks and NYPD Intelligence Division officers involved in Giuliani's security or the artist permit who were involved in arresting Robert Lederman.
All of the above either discussed the arrests or his paintings of Giuliani with Lederman; arrested him; helped create, enforce or publicly commented on the Parks Department artist permit; or discussed Lederman, street artists or the artist permit with Giuliani.
The documents requested in these subpoenas were illegally removed from City property by Giuliani a few days before he left office and stored in a private warehouse in Queens. Historians, archivists and the NYCLU believe Giuliani violated a number of laws by removing the documents and intends to destroy those which might negatively reflect on his eights years as Mayor or incriminate him in actual crimes. These include tape recording of his staff meetings, emails, letters, appointment books, video surveillance tapes, photographs and memos. On 2/26/2002 Judge McKenna extended discovery in this case until at least 6/30/2002.
Robert Lederman 201 896-1686 firstname.lastname@example.org
The legal complaint filed in this case can be read at http://www.openair.org/alerts/artist/nycourt1.html Attorneys: Andrew Miltenberg, Robert Fierman of Nesenoff and Miltenberg Also see: NY Times 8/11/2001 Judge Bans Permit Requirement for Art Vendors; NY Times 8/17/2001 End Draws Near for Mayor's Artful Adversary; NY Times 6/3/97 SoHo Street Artists Triumph as High Court Rebuffs City; Paint Misbehavin': An Art Attack, NY Post 7/6/98; Village Voice, 2/24/98 Chronic Offender; Jewish Week, 5/7/99 His Artwork Raises a Feuhrer; NY Post editorial, 6/16/98 Demonizing Rudy Giuliani; Newsday 12/19/99 A Thorn in the Mayor's Side; Washington Post, 3/20/2000 Speech Activist 2 Capitol Police 0;Penthouse 6/99 Advise and Dissent: Giuliani's War on Freedom.