Please Redistribute
 
August 18, 2005
 
Mimi Hull, President 
ASSOCIATION OF U S WEST RETIREES (AUSWR)
AUSWR Board Members and General members
 
 
This is a follow-up to my July 7, 2005 update report regarding the Hull v. Department of Labor (Freedom of Information Act - FOIA) lawsuit filed in the Denver Federal Court.  The July 7 update reported what we had learned from a review of about 1,400 additional pages of documents that the DOL sent to us.   The July 7 update reported that we discovered there was a "tolling agreement" entered into between the DOL and all Qwest Board members and EBC members which "tolling agreement" extended the time period for the DOL to take legal action concerning the use of over $480 million of pension funds for severance purposes.  And, the July 7 update reported that, for reasons not yet explained by the DOL, the DOL decided not to take any further legal action.
 
 
And, as of July 7, the DOL was still withholding about 200 pages of requested documents, claiming those papers were exempt from disclosure under certain FOIA exemptions.  So, on July 29, 2005, we filed some legal papers, again challenging the DOL's position and asking Denver Federal Chief Judge Babcock to force the DOL to release those papers.
 
 
You can go the AUSWR website http://www.uswestretiree.org/legal2.htm and under the heading Freedom of Information Act Hull v. DOL view this August 18 Update, when posted, and the attachment thereto, a copy of the July 29 legal papers we filed pertaining to the DOL's continuing refusal to turn over requested papers about the investigation concerning the Qwest Pension Plan.
 
 
The latest twist:  Yesterday, only a few days before the DOL's August 19 deadline to respond to our latest legal filing protesting the DOL's actions, the United States Attorney defending the DOL's actions told us "the DOL just found some more papers and documents that the DOL has decided to release to us."   The U.S. Attorney told us he was informed that the papers were found, all of a sudden, on the hard drive of the computer that the DOL investigator had been using.  So, he tells us that, eventually, the DOL will send us those "just found" papers.
 
 
You see, as I have thoroughly explained in my prior emailed update reports to you, because of the way the Supreme Court voted 5-4 to interpret federal laws like FOIA, if the government eventually turns over everything before a federal judge gets around to ordering the government to comply with AUSWR's FOIA request, then, notwithstanding the fact that this retiree organization has fought so long to get the very information disclosed, AUSWR and Mimi Hull will not be deemed the "prevailing party" and, hence, not entitled to an award of attorney's fees and reimbursement of costs.  I believe this has been the DOL's game plan all along -- to eventually comply with AUSWR's and Mimi Hull's request made under FOIA and leave nothing for the federal judge to order produced and, thus, defeat any claim to get attorney's fees and expenses recovered.  Seems somewhat devious, doesn't it?
 
 
I will let you what develops after the latest "just found" papers are sent to me. 
 
 
Curtis
303-770-0440