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Painter wants emails of woman he's accused of stalking

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Posted: Jan 12, 2011 5:21 PM by Chris Nakamoto
Updated: Jan 12, 2011 5:21 PM
Source: WBRZ

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Topics: Murphy Painter, Kelli Suire, Emails, Baton Rouge, WBRZ

BATON ROUGE- Ex-Alcohol and Tobacco Control Commissioner Murphy Painter wants personal emails from a woman he's accused of stalking.

Painter and his attorney, Murphy Foster were in court this afternoon. They filed a public records request to the Department of Wildlife and Fisheries last year, demanding all emails from one of his former employees, Kelli Suire. Suire works for L.D.W.F, but at one time worked at the ATC office.

"I think it's ridiculous and over-reaching," Suire's attorney, Jill Craft said.

Foster cited, the Department of Wildlife and Fisheries Internet policy which states any emails or information stored on a state computer are not privileged or private.

"I'm looking forward to seeing them, obviously they don't want to give them for some reason," Foster said.

Suire took the stand in court today. Her voice cracked as she talked about the emails that should not be released.

"They are about my daughter, fiance and sister," Suire said. "He {Painter} could find out where I live."

Suire filed a restraining order against Painter following his resignation last year. She claims he stalked her and even made her give him her "Facebook" password while she was employed at the ATC office.

"He wants her private information...," Craft said. "That's the information we're talking about, and it treads on dangerous ground in this case."

Painter stepped down as the state's Alcohol and Tobacco Control Commissioner last summer. He's accused of numerous possible ethical violations including: running thousands of names in the statewide criminal database, allegedly stalking former employee Suire and the questionable hiring of a live-in girlfriend.

In court, Foster said because the Office of Inspector General and Department of Wildlife and Fisheries did not comply with their request for the emails, they should face sanctions. Foster requested the agencies pay for Painter's attorney fees.

Judge Mike Caldwell found no basis for the Inspector General having to face sanctions. A decision on whether Painter will get the personal emails will be revealed tomorrow.

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