By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor
But one that they are handling right now is so unusual, apparently, that they took the step of sending e-mail to thousands of people whose names will be part of it. We’ve heard from several readers, too, unsettled after receiving this message from Assistant Chief Steve Wilske, sent out by Southwest and South Precincts Crime Prevention Coordinator Mark Solomon and other CPCs around the city:
Right after receiving that, we asked SPD’s media-relations unit if they could tell us who had made the request; at the time, they couldn’t find the information, but it was in this followup that Solomon sent shortly thereafter to the original mailing list:
Dear Community Friends,
As per our legal advisor, the name of the individual who requested the names of all of our Block Captains and/or the individuals who organized Night Out events is public information. The individual’s name is Keith Gormezano. He requested names, addresses, home phone numbers, fax numbers, email addresses, notes and the approximate block where Night Out event was held, as well as the same contact information of Block Watch Captains (past and present). Mr. Gormezano does not have to provide why he wants the information or what he intends to do with it. He has signed a declaration stating that he will not use the list of names for commercial purposes.
As the letter from Chief Wilske states, we are only mandated to give out the names. For South and Southwest Precincts, this information was provided for current (not former) Block Watch Captains and 2014 & 2015 Night Out registrants. If you are not currently a block watch captain, or if you have not been the one to register your group’s Night Out event in the past two years, your name was not disclosed.
I’ve received dozens of responses on this. Many of you are upset, curious and some block captains have quit as a result. We understand. In my 25 years as a Crime Prevention Coordinator, I can say we have been protective of our Block Captains, to a fault. Unfortunately this could not be avoided. I am extremely sorry and saddened for the distress this is causing.
Our subsequent online search quickly turned up an e-mail address for Keith Gormezano, so we wrote to ask him why he wanted the names. His reply:
I am under no obligation to tell you why I am seeking this information.
This isn’t the first time I have requested the names and contact information for BWC and NO organizers.
The department gave me a complete list several years ago.
I would be happy to send it to you.
It is subject to the PDR.
That is the price of living in a free society.
If people are curious, they can look up my voting record or value of my Creekside condo.
If it is causing a lot of distress, one has to wonder why SPD went out of their way to inform everyone after the fact.
Looking him up via Google, you’ll find this 2006 seattlepi.com story featuring what he did to revolt against Safeway’s loyalty program, and a 2003 Stranger story about how he got sued for posting public records from a legal proceeding.
Regarding public records in general – far more is subject to disclosure than you might think. You can read the chapters of our state’s Public Records Act here.