Special Report: (10 pages when printed.)
- Council Members routinely used private email accounts for City-related business.
- Expansive Public Records Request during 2015 Council elections brought issue to fore.
- One Council Member, acting as a private citizen, demanded emails on private account from another Council Member.
- The City Attorney, paid for by tax dollars, became de facto attorney for the “private citizen” Council Member.
- Two Council Members subsequently failed to produce emails from their private accounts.
- One of the two Council Members failed to produce emails from her private account again in 2016 pursuant to a PRR.
Hillary Clinton’s email was a story that wouldn’t die in the presidential campaign, dogging her right through the Nov. 8 election.
The City of Sammamish has its own problems over emails. Council members routinely used private emails for city business and when it comes to complying with the Washington State law for Public Records Requests (PRR), some members aren’t always forthcoming with documents.
One City Council Member was explicit that a controversial topic should be discussed using private emails to avoid public disclosures through City emails.
The City Attorney’s position on compliance in responding to Public Records Requests appears inconsistent.
The issue is about transparency in government and complying with the law.
Requirements to hand over emails from personal accounts is well established in Washington State. A Bainbridge Island case is illustrative. See here and here.