February 24, 2000

 

 

VIA TELECOPIER ONLY

Bryan Saddler, Esquire

Acting Counsel to the Inspector

General

U.S. Department of Housing and

Urban Development

Office of Inspector General

451 Ė 7th Street, S.W.

Washington, D.C. 20410

RE: Susan Gaffney v. The Hamilton Securities Group, Inc., et al., Misc. No. 98-92 (SS), In the United States District Court for the District of Columbia

Dear Bryan:

This responds to the points raised in your February 23rd letter.

First, OIG should not require any additional assurance that the records that Hamilton designated as "non-responsive" are, in fact, non-responsive Ė but let me address your concerns by reiterating what we have already stated. As Hamiltonís counsel, Michael McManus and I (along with associates and paralegals) reviewed all of Hamiltonís paper records at Storch & Brenner over the course of three months. We believe that we were very broad in designating responsive documents, therefore, the non-responsive documents represent just a fraction of the total documents stored at Storch & Brenner. Your predecessor at the OIG nevertheless asked the Special Masters to "spot check" the non-responsive documents, insisting that they would find responsive documents improperly segregated, even going so far as to designate specific boxes identified by Ms. Hetherton as containing responsive documents. The Special Masters conducted that review and agreed with Hamiltonís designations on each document. It is our opinion that the non-responsive documents are just that.

Second, regarding the back-up tapes, your suggestion that this matter now be put on a fast track is inappropriate in all respects.

Third, Hamilton has not and will not pay the Special Mastersí fees for overseeing Hamiltonís use of its own documents, whether searching for duplicates or otherwise reviewing Hamiltonís records for legal, business or other purposes. These are Hamiltonís records, and Hamilton has a right to use them. The OIG always has borne the Special Mastersí expenses when Hamilton needs access to its documents because the OIG is the only party that wants the records to remain there. If the OIG no longer wants to bear those expenses, release all of the documents. Since no one from the OIG has gone to Storch & Brennerís offices to review documents for the past five months (in fact, for the past 10 months, two OIG investigators have signed in to review documents on only two occasions), the OIG should consider whether keeping any documents there serves any legitimate purpose at this late stage. As long as they remain there, however, Hamilton will exercise its right to access its own documents, and the OIG will have to incur the Special Mastersí fees and expenses that flow from this unnecessary arrangement.

/gw

cc via Telecopier only:

Laurence Storch, Esquire

Daniel Van Horn, Esquire

Ms. Catherine A. Fitts