Rep. Daus is not responsible for any of the comments posted on this blog. Let's keep the comments clean and refrain from bashing. Thanks!

Monday, January 21, 2008


Amid the continuing scandal over his administration’s deletion of potentially embarrassing e-mails, Gov. Matt Blunt is unilaterally moving ahead with a $2 million plan to permanently archive all e-mails sent or received by most executive branch agencies, The Associated Press reported on Jan. 16.

Blunt has faced criticism over the e-mail issue since the summer. Scott Eckersley, Blunt’s former deputy counsel, claims he was fired for advising the administration that its e-mail deletion practices violated state law. In a wrongful termination and defamation suit recently filed against the governor and four current or former members of his staff, Eckersley said the governor’s office ordered high-ranking administration officials to routinely destroyed sensitive e-mails after The Kansas Star used the state’s Sunshine Law to obtain e-mails that exposed the administration’s efforts to pressure the State Highway Patrol to criticize Attorney General Jay Nixon for not pursuing criminal charges relating to the Taum Sauk reservoir collapse. The patrol’s own investigation had already concluded no charges were warranted.

Rather than seeking money from the General Assembly through the normal budget process, Blunt is using reserve funds to establish the e-mail archive. An estimated $500,000 a year will be needed to maintain the archive, funding that will require legislative approval starting with next year’s budget process.

According to the AP, the state computer system administered by the Office of Administration handles approximately 1.5 million e-mails daily. The OA system includes the governor’s and lieutenant governor’s office and most state agencies. The transportation, conservation and natural resources departments maintain separate e-mail systems, as do the Highway Patrol, the judiciary, the legislature and other statewide elected officials. Those systems aren’t subject to the governor’s archiving plan.

No comments: