18 August 2010 0 Comments

Are your public officials’ emails public information?

Commissioner “Elizondo’s assertion that a public official’s e-mails and telephone logs have “nothing to do with government,” is at best ignorant and at worst, arrogant.(1)

I think this quote speaks for itself.

Transparency is vital for democracy and open records requests are a vehicle for that transparency.

Having recently had some work emails subpoenaed in a lawsuit, I can understand why people get a little edgy when asked to turn such information over. This information was about to become public information. Was I unprofessional in my “private” communications with my employers?

This was a new experience for me, not having ever experienced a subpoena before. Since then I have been conscious of how I speak in my email communication for my work email account – is this professional and work related? I’ve had to increase my personal responsibility and think before hitting that send button in addition to ensuring any personal communications were sent from my personal account.

If an elected official isn’t already doing this after 24+ yrs in office, what are we to think? What is your concern Commissioner?

(1)Open government folly at Commissioners Court, Veronica Flores-Paniagua, Web Posted: 08/17/2010 12:00 CDT, mysanantonio.com