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Tuesday, May 06, 2008

Trouble for folks who destroy emails.

Please click onto the COMMENTS for the story.


Blogger Bob said...

By DAVID A. LIEB Associated Press Writer
Article Last Updated: 05/05/2008 08:16:26 PM CDT

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo.—Gov. Matt Blunt or his top deputies ordered Missouri's backup e-mail tapes to be destroyed to avoid complying with an open-records request from The Associated Press, a lawsuit filed by state investigators alleged Monday.

The lawsuit was filed by investigators appointed by Attorney General Jay Nixon to look into whether Blunt's office had violated open-records laws by deleting some e-mails.

A former governor's office attorney sued Blunt earlier this year alleging he was fired for raising concerns that the office was not complying with the Sunshine Law or Missouri's document-retention policies.

The latest lawsuit seeks an injunction preventing Blunt or anyone acting on his behalf from accessing the backup e-mail tapes and an order that they be turned over to investigators and the court. It also asks a Cole County judge to direct Blunt's administration to comply—at no cost—with the investigator's own Sunshine Law request for governor's office e-mail records.

Without examining the backup e-mail files, investigators cannot fully complete their task of determining whether Blunt's office improperly deleted any e-mails, said attorney Chet Pleban, part of Nixon's appointed investigative team.

Shortly after former Blunt staffer Scott Eckersley went public with his allegations about his firing last fall, The AP filed an open-records request Oct. 31 seeking e-mails retrieved from the state's electronic backup files.

Specifically, The AP sought e-mails sent or received by Blunt, Eckersley and several top governor's office employees.
In response to that request, a supervisor in the state's Office of Administration set aside the backup e-mail tapes that same day so they would not automatically be taped over as part of the state's standard 60-day retention cycle, the lawsuit said.

But later on Oct. 31, the lawsuit alleged, either Blunt, one of his top three deputies or someone acting under their direction indicated to acting administration commissioner Rich AuBuchon "that it would be in everyone's best interest" if the backup files were taped over.

The lawsuit claimed AuBuchon then told the state's chief information officer, Dan Ross, that "there was concern at a 'higher level'" over the fact that the backup e-mail files had been set aside. Ross then asked two separate computer technology supervisors to place the backup e-mail tapes in line to be taped over, the lawsuit said.

Both supervisors refused to do so, the lawsuit said, and the next day the attorney general's office received a confidential tip from a government employee that Ross had sought to have the backup e-mail files destroyed.

Blunt spokeswoman Jessica Robinson claimed Monday that the lawsuit was "politically motivated," citing as evidence the fact that the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported its details Monday before the governor's office or his attorney had received a copy of the lawsuit.

But Robinson refused to discuss the allegations because the matter was now in litigation.

Pleban dismissed as "nonsense" the assertion that the investigators' lawsuit was politically motivated. He said it was a government informant that led Nixon to appoint the investigative team on Nov. 15.

"We would have liked to have amicably resolved the controversy short of litigation, but the governor's office just wouldn't cooperate in that endeavor," Pleban said

7:23 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Chuck could you spin this one for us BIG DADDY?

7:26 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Why would anyone expect Chuck to put a spin on this? It's not Saint Paul or even Minnesota.

All along Chuck has been saying that nothing specifically requested was destroyed - in fact, the city has gone above and beyond by having the best data recovery company in the country recover the email from the time period requested even though the city was completely free to destroy the backup data.

Do you people even read the information Bob posts or what Chuck and Eric respond?


10:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The city was not free to destroy whatever they wanted. They had a duty to save EVERYTHING from the day they were sued.

10:56 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Those Republicans in Mo and clearly are trying to hide something.

Here in St Paul, the lawyers are fishing for emails that went missing long before they ask for them in a routine dumping exercise. These requests are based on a belief that they MAY be evidence there. Blunt took recent emails and began destroying them after specific action spelled out in the emails were seen to be incriminating.

What is the exact evidence you seek in your RICO emails and between whom was this email sent?

Answer that and you'll be closer than you are now to the Mo incident.


1:59 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

They asked for them in 2004. The judge has told the city that they had a duty to keep them. The "routine dumping policy" is a figament of your imagination.

2:07 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"figment" but thanks.
You know, after the court case I said we need a better email policy. I was not clear on the document retrieval and retention policy.

I lived in Missouri before Minnesota. The politics is not the same. Minnesotans would call it corrupt and mean spirited. There is a smoking gun that goes to governors office- yet no penalty. If that was here, the governor would have been ran out on a rail. The senate was punished including the majority leader for abusing phone cards back in the 90's.

If the evidence was there in relation to the importance of the emails, lawyers or the judge would have spelled it out clearly. They haven't. Why? Because you're trying to prove RICO- not corruption or incompetence.


3:58 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It was spelled out pretty clearly to me. What was it that you missed Eric?

5:17 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What exactly is in the 'missing emails' AND who sent them.


5:39 PM  

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