Memo shows attorney challenged Blunt’s policy before firing
Saturday, November 10, 2007
By CHRISTOPHER LEONARD ~ The Associated Press
ST. LOUIS — A former staff attorney for Gov. Matt Blunt sent an internal office memo challenging his boss’ stance on deleting e-mails just weeks before the attorney was fired, according to a copy of the memo obtained by The Associated Press.
The memo’s existence and content contradict public statements made by Blunt and his top officials after the attorney was fired in late September. Blunt officials have repeatedly said Scott Eckersley never challenged — verbally or in writing — their policy of deleting office e-mail and brought up the issue only the day he was fired….
This is a textbook case of how not to handle a political windstorm, unless…
…you’re worried that you’re going to go to jail for doing something really really bad.
…On Friday, Chrismer reiterated that Blunt’s office has “no record that Scott Eckersley ever wrote or stated that the practices of our office were inconsistent with any law or standard on record retention….
Heh. Do you think maybe that lack of record is because it was deleted? A classic “non denial denial” if I’ve ever seen one.
(6) “Public record”, any record, whether written or electronically stored, retained by or of any public governmental body including any report, survey, memorandum, or other document or study prepared for the public governmental body by a consultant or other professional service paid for in whole or in part by public funds, including records created or maintained by private contractors under an agreement with a public governmental body or on behalf of a public governmental body; provided, however, that personally identifiable student records maintained by public educational institutions shall be open for inspection by the parents, guardian or other custodian of students under the age of eighteen years and by the parents, guardian or other custodian and the student if the student is over the age of eighteen years. The term “public record” shall not include any internal memorandum or letter received or prepared by or on behalf of a member of a public governmental body consisting of advice, opinions and recommendations in connection with the deliberative decision-making process of said body, unless such records are retained by the public governmental body or presented at a public meeting. Any document or study prepared for a public governmental body by a consultant or other professional service as described in this subdivision shall be retained by the public governmental body in the same manner as any other public record;
Liberal construction of law to be public policy.
1. It is the public policy of this state that meetings, records, votes, actions, and deliberations of public governmental bodies be open to the public unless otherwise provided by law. Sections 610.010 to 610.200 shall be liberally construed and their exceptions strictly construed to promote this public policy.
2. Except as otherwise provided by law, all public meetings of public governmental bodies shall be open to the public as set forth in section 610.020, all public records of public governmental bodies shall be open to the public for inspection and copying as set forth in sections 610.023 to 610.026, and all public votes of public governmental bodies shall be recorded as set forth in section 610.015.
Rough translation: “when in doubt, save it”