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Public business, private e-mail in Ouachita

5 years ago July 26, 2010 Jul 26, 2010 Monday, July 26 2010 Monday, July 26, 2010 3:58:56 AM CDT in News
Source: Associated Press
By: Andrea Fontenot

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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