Thursday, August 13, 2009

The Email Superman

For all you IT pros, this should be a funny story.

Quoted below is an excerpt from an affidavit submitted by Kin Mak on June 19, 2007.

Mazza was under investigation by DOI (DeFreitas) for improperly influencing the hiring of Baksh as NYCERS HR director with respect to both Baksh’s resume and possibly Baksh’s second writing sample. Mazza had told DeFreitas that she had previously deleted all her relevant emails to Baksh. DeFreitas had asked Mak to search for Mazza’s deleted emails. For some reason DeFreitas allowed Mazza to participate in the alleged search for the deleted emails.

Here is the quote:

3. My search for the e-mails requested by Ms. DeFreitas was structured as follows.
First, the time period for the search was January 2004 through July 27, 2004, the date of the DeFreitas request.
Second, I searched for two types of e-mails:
(1) e-mails in Ms. Mazza’s e-mail box in which Ms Mazza was either the sender or the recipient and “resume” was the subject of the e-mail: and
(2) e-mails in Ms. Mazza’s e-mail box in which Felita Baksh, was either the sender or recipient at the e-mail address of, and which either had “resume” in the subject field or the substance of the email concerned Ms. Baksh’s resume.
I conducted the search for the above e-mails by:
a) searching Ms. Mazza’s then-current e-mail box, i.e., the e-mail box as it existed on July 27, 2004; and
b) searching the weekly backup tapes starting from July 27, 2004, and going back to January 2004.

4. As result of the above search, I was able to recover one e-mail, dated January 28, 2004, in which the original sender was Felita Baksh at, the subject was “Resume” and which had been sent by Ms. Baksh to Niki Browne NYCERS, who forwarded it to Ms. Mazza. On July 27, 2004, I forwarded the recovered e-mail to Ms. DeFreitas. A copy of an e-mail from me to Ms. DeFreitas, dated July 27, 2004, containing the recovered e-mail, is annexed hereto as Exhibit “B”.

This alleged search occurred sometime between 7:17 AM and 10:22 AM on July 27, 2004. As per instructions from DeFreitas and Mak’s comment in his 7:17 AM email, Mak spoke to Ms. Mazza before going ahead with the email search. For all of you who know Mazza’s morning arrival record at NYCERS, you will conclude that Mak did not start his search promptly at 7:17 AM. By 10:22 AM on the 27th, Mak emailed DeFreitas the results of his search, the one email mentioned above.

To anyone who is not familiar with the logistics of Microsoft’s Outlook, Mak’s description of this alleged search appears to be unremarkable. It is, however, the equivalent of someone describing a one mile run that took only 5 seconds. This was a patently false affidavit. The Law Department was made aware of the obvious lies in the affidavit but chose to bury the inconvenient truth. It’s not cheating, if you don’t get caught.

While it was very easy to search the current email box, the alleged searching of the 27 backup tapes would have been an enormously time consuming project. The tapes are not directly accessible and have to be downloaded to perform the search that Mak described. It usually takes over an hour for NYCERS to perform the daily backup of its Outlook system. The backup process is relatively simple compared to the restore process. I will spare you the complexities of restoring Outlook especially when there is already an active production Outlook system running. It is almost metaphysically certain that Mak did not search any of the backup tapes. Of course, there is no paper documentation of this search on the morning of July 27, 2004.

The affidavit was notarized by, guess who, Karen Mazza.

Subsequent to this affidavit Mak had to clarify that the famous one email was actually found in Niki Browne’s current email box and not in any of Mazza’s email boxes. At least that was what Mak said. Why was he looking Ms. Browne's email file?

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