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NEW YORK DAILY NEWS - JANUARY 3, 2003
Rudy Chronicles, Bit by Bit
By JOANNE WASSERMAN

Former Mayor Rudy Giuliani's controversial records have started to come back to the city's Municipal Archives - and they paint a haunting picture of the events surrounding Sept. 11.
City archivists said that four boxes from a total of 124 that contain Giuliani's daily internal schedules are now available to the public.

Other information, such as correspondence and internal memos, are still being prepared by archivists hired by the Giuliani Center - a nonprofit organization set up by former aides and friends last year.

The released documents - on white loose-leaf paper with three holes and no official letterhead - contain information that never appeared on Giuliani's public schedules, such as private staff meetings and internal briefings.

Aides to the former mayor "revised" some of the information on the schedules in December 2001, just before Giuliani left office.

A number of these changes involved Sept. 11, indicating events canceled or added that day because of the terrorist attacks.

But revisions also were made for other dates.

While city officials and the former mayor hailed the release of the documents, critics said the papers always would have a cloud over them because they were removed from city custody and information could have been deleted.

Typical to tragic

Most of the papers detail Giuliani's mundane day-to-day activities - until Sept. 11, 2001.

The documents show that day started out typically enough. Giuliani had breakfast with William Simon, a Republican candidate for governor.

But by 9:30 a.m., everything had changed. A "photo opportunity" with the Rev. Patrick Ryan and a staff meeting at 9:45 a.m. were canceled.

Nor did Giuliani ever make it uptown to E. 88th St. to vote in the Republican Primary.

"CANCELED DUE TO TERRORIST ATTACK," a notation added on Dec. 18, 2001, states.

In boldface, a noon event states: "Mayor arrives at Engine 6 on Houston Street as temporary headquarters, gathers his executive staff and goes on air to update on terrorist attack."

Giuliani spokeswoman Sunny Mindel said Giuliani schedulers added the notations for "historical" purposes.

Archives director Ken Cobb said he had gone to The Fortress, a private facility in Queens where the documents are being stored, at least once a month.

"I look at what the archivists are doing," said Cobb. "We talk about the mechanics of the process. They are doing a good job."

Taint seen

But New York Public Interest Research Group lawyer Gene Russianoff said he believes the public "will never know if the records were removed or doctored."

"The former mayor should return the papers to the Municipal Archives lock, stock and stapled," Russianoff said. "There is a cloud over them that will never go away."

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Defending the archives contract: Saul Cohen, President, Rudy Giuliani Center for Urban Affairs