The administration of New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin was ordered to stop "destroying correspondence" after it was sued for deleting e-mail sent to and from the mayor and for deleting most of his 2008 calendar, The Times-Picayune reported. Apparently, the mayor's calendar was only kept in electronic format, and no e-mail or calendar information prior to June 30 can be retrieved. WWL-TV news anchor Lee Zurik filed a public-records request for the data in January and then filed suit. The Nagin administration says its server had capacity problems, which will be fixed.
Orleans Parish Civil Court Judge Rose Ledet delivered a stinging rebuke to Mayor Ray Nagin's administration Tuesday after learning that virtually all of the e-mail sent and received by Nagin last year and much of the information on his 2008 calendar have been erased in an apparent violation of the state public-records law.
Clearly disturbed by the revelation, Ledet ordered the Nagin administration to immediately halt the practice of "destroying correspondence" of the mayor and members of his executive staff.
The tense scene played out during a hearing in Ledet's court for a lawsuit filed against the Nagin administration by WWL-TV news anchor Lee Zurik, who sought the e-mail and calendar information in a public-records request filed in January.