Public business, private e-mail in Ouachita
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.