Gizmodo Media Group, parent company of Gizmodo, the tech and culture web site, has filed a lawsuit against the FBI seeking access to its files on Roger Ailes, the late chairman and chief executive officer of Fox News.
According to Dell Cameron, an investigative reporter and self-proclaimed Freedom of Information Act “enthusiast,” Gizmodo requested files from the government on Ailes but it did not receive an answer within the time period under federal statute.
Although there is no evidence that those files exist, the government does have the obligation to respond to the FOIA request. In the complaint, which was filed Tuesday in the Southern District of New York, Gizmodo said Cameron submitted his request on May 18 for “all documents relating to Ailes.” That request was acknowledged by the FBI with a tracking number but it did not provide the documents to deny their existence within 20 business days.
Gizmodo is asking for the court to expedite the process and award it costs and attorneys’ fees, as a result.
Ailes, the former ceo of Fox, was found dead in his Palm Beach home on May 18, after suffering a subdural hematoma that was aggravated by his hemophilia. In the months leading up to his death, Ailes resigned from the media company on July 21, after he was accused of sexual harassment by a trove of former Fox News employees in the weeks prior. Ailes left Fox News with a $40 million exit package even as more female employees spoke out about their boss’ behavior.
Gizmodo’s Cameron explained the importance of his request for the executive’s file, offering: “There will be no justice for Ailes or his accusers. His death saw to that. But we can, perhaps, learn something we didn’t already know about the man who built a media empire before burning himself to the ground…if only the FBI would kindly turn over those records.”