Editor's Note

The FOI Advocate is a compendium of ideas, edited story excerpts and other materials from a variety of Web sites, as well as original concepts and analysis. When the information comes directly from another source, it will be attributed and a link will be provided whenever possible. The blog relies on the accuracy and integrity of the original sources cited. We will correct errors and inaccuracies when we become aware of them.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Fla. mayor tries to block data on e-mail sent from private account

Michael Butler, a Hallandale Beach resident and blogger, filed a public records request to find out who was on the distribution list of an e-mail Mayor Joy Cooper sent out from a personal e-mail account, South Florida Sun-Sentinel reported. Although Cooper signed the e-mail "Mayor Joy Cooper" and listed her City Hall contact information, the city attorney is arguing that the e-mail was a private matter.
City officials are trying to block an Internet blogger's request for information about an e-mail Mayor Joy Cooper sent from her personal e-mail account that discusses city issues.

A private attorney hired by the city filed a civil lawsuit in Broward Circuit Court Friday against Michael Butler, a Hallandale Beach resident who runs the ChangeHallandale.com blog. Butler wants to know who received Cooper's e-mail.

In the suit, the city asks a judge to decide if the e-mail's distribution list is a public document. No hearing date has been scheduled.
More here.

1 comment:

Alexander Lewy said...

Government email accounts should be public. But this is the Mayor's personal account. Mayor is a formal title Mayor Cooper will carry the rest of her life just like it is proper to still call Steve Geller, Senator.

Just cause she signs an email Mayor Joy Cooper and lists contact information for her official capacity doesn't make it public record.

My only recommendation for the city is not to accept messages from personal accounts as official requests. If any elected official emails staff or is writing for official business they should use their government email address.