By Dan Kennedy • The press, politics, technology, culture and other passions

Private e-mails, public records

According to the Washington Post, Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin sent e-mails from her private Yahoo account to ask the state public-safety commissioner, Walter Monegan, why her brother-in-law was still working. Monegan, whom Palin fired, showed the e-mails to the Post, but wouldn’t provide copies.

Is it legal under whatever open-access law is in effect in Alaska for the governor to use her private e-mail account while conducting official business? An e-mail from the governor to the public-safety commission could be obtained under a freedom-of-information request in many states. How about Alaska?

I’ve sent an e-mail to the AP’s Larry Campbell, who’s listed as the contact for the Alaska FOI Coalition. I’ll let you know what I find out.

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  1. Sean Roche

    This issue came up in Brookline and Newton. In Newton, an alderman made the private account means private business argument.Sophistry at best. The issue is the content, not the medium. If you correspond about official business, it’s an official record.

  2. MeTheSheeple

    Looks like it’s fair game. And if the governor’s office won’t provide it, you can request it through the public safety commission.

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