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Federal Judge Declines To Dismiss Case for SBA Executive's Phone Records

June 18, 2009

PETALUMA, Calif.,- Federal District Court Judge for the Northern District of California, Edward Chen failed to grant a motion from the Small Business Administration (SBA) to dismiss a Freedom of Information Act case filed by the American Small Business League (ASBL) in a hearing held on Wednesday, June 17th.

The ASBL filed the case after the SBA refused to provide the phone records of SBA Press Office Director Mike Stamler. The ASBL requested Stamler's emails and phone records after several journalists reported receiving angry and profane phone calls and emails from Stamler regarding the ASBL and their President Lloyd Chapman.

After receiving one of Stamler's profane emails, the Long Island Business Journal (LIBJ) posted an article on its blog titled, "Expletives the SBA's Forte." (http://libizblog.wordpress.com/2008/02/22/expletives-the-sbas-forte/)

Since 2003, information provided by Lloyd Chapman and the ASBL prompted several federal investigations that found the SBA had included billions of dollars in federal contracts awarded to Fortune 500 firms towards the federal government's congressionally mandated 23 percent small business procurement goal. Several of the nation's largest newspapers, ABC, CBS and CNN all reported on the diversion of federal small business contracts to Fortune 500 firms. (ABC, http://www.asbl.com/abc_evening_news.wmv; CBS, http://www.asbl.com/cbs.wmv; CNN, http://www.asbl.com/showmedia.php?id=1170)

One of the key issues in the case are the phone records for Stamler's government-issued cell phone. The SBA is claiming Stamler's cell phone records are not a government document. The SBA is also claiming they have no records of Stamler's local phone calls and that he only made approximately 10 long distance calls per month during the course of a two year period.

Judge Chen gave the SBA and the ASBL one week to provide additional briefing on the case.

The SBA is also appealing Federal District Court Judge Marilyn Patel's order directing the SBA to pay the legal fees incurred by the ASBL in another recent Freedom of Information Act case the SBA lost to the ASBL. (http://www.law.com/jsp/ihc/PubArticleIHC.jsp?id=1202429063119) In that case the SBA attempted to convince the court they had no records on the actual recipients of federal small business contracts. (www.asbl.com/documents/26-2.pdf)

The ASBL is preparing to file several other lawsuits against the SBA for Stamler's emails along with a number of other Freedom of Information Act requests the SBA has refused to comply with. The ASBL has won every Freedom of Information Act case it has filed against the SBA.



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Reid Brownlie
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American Small Business League
3910 Cypress Dr., Suite B
Petaluma, CA 94954

707-789-9575 | fax 707-789-9580
email to rbrownlie@asbl.com




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