City emails treated casually in the Big Easy

Something smells fishy in New Orleans, and it’s not the etouffee.

Political email scandals seem to be more plentiful than ever, and the latest focus is on New Orleans mayor Ray Nagin. It seems there are actually two controversies. The first revolves around the city sanitation director, who gave an attorney emails of council members who had been critical of her job performance. Nagin only said that the director’s actions were “unusual.” However, city policy appropriately states that electronic records, including emails, should be reviewed by and provided by the city attorney’s office.

Nagin also took the opportunity to try to explain away why two years of council email was even available to the sanitation department. On to the second controversy: Curiously, the controversy over the release of emails came not too long after the mayor had stated that all of his communications for 2008 had been deleted to save space. To save space! Ray, you’ve got to be kidding. Are you really that computer illiterate? Do you think we’re actually going to buy that the city of New Orleans couldn’t afford to buy an extra backup drive, or even a handful of writable disks for archiving your emails? After all the controversy about politicians deleting emails, you still did it? Surely, the good mayor knew that the emails could have been easily archived, and surely, he knew that good governance demands that records be kept. I want to know what you have to hide. Read the full email archiving article>>

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