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Our View: Openness should not be deleted

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By The Staff

A recent ruling by the Attorney General’s Office should be of concern to everyone.

See, the office ruled that state law contains no recourse for people who ask to inspect state officials’ public e-mails and find they’ve been deleted.

So if an official wants to hide something, just do it via the Internet than delete it.

It is scary. Any document produced by a public figure doing the public’s business belongs to the public. To just hit the delete key to avoid disclosure is not acceptable.

Last year, the state Commission of Public Records published rules directing agencies that they must retain e-mail correspondence that contains public records.

“Agencies need to be made aware that messages within the e-mail system could be a permanent record,” said Sandra Jaramillo, state records administrator.

But not all agree. PRC general counsel C. Vince Lithgow III wrote the request for e-mails belonging to Commissioner Ben Ray Lujan – the Democratic candidate for Congress – and said that few of the agency’s e-mails are public record.


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