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Public business, private e-mail in Ouachita

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Posted: Jul 26, 2010 4:58 AM by Andrea Fontenot
Source: Associated Press

  Rating: 3.0 (2 votes)

Topics: elected officials, Ouachita Parish, private, e-mail, accounts, public, business, records, Monroe City Council, Ouachita Parish Police Jury, West Monroe Board of Aldermen

Many elected officials in Ouachita Parish use private e-mail accounts for public business.

Attorneys for the Monroe City Council, Ouachita Parish Police Jury and West Monroe Board of Aldermen say that exempts many of their e-mails from state public records laws.

The issue arose when The News-Star asked about e-mails from two Monroe City Council members indicted on federal corruption charges.

The city's spokesman says Monroe's council members don't use city accounts.

City attorney Nanci Summersgill argues that e-mails on private accounts are public records only if an official uses a message to transact public business - that is, to act on an item - or mentions an e-mail message in a public forum.

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