Former governors didn’t use public e-mail accounts
In addition to the revelation that former Govs. Gary Johnson and Bill Richardson avoided using public e-mail accounts, scrutiny of who has access to information about teachers is keeping the private e-mail controversy in the news.
The controversy over using of private e-mail to conduct public business continues, and among the news is a revelation that the previous two governors avoided using public e-mail accounts.
Former Republican Gov. Gary Johnson was quoted by KRQE-TV in Albuquerque as saying he never used public e-mail during his eight years as governor because he didn’t want his e-mail to be subject to the Inspection of Public Records Act. Johnson, now the Libertarian Party’s presidential candidate, was quoted as saying public disclosure of his e-mail would hamper honest communication with staff.
Former Democratic Gov. Bill Richardson apparently didn’t use his public e-mail account either, KRQE reported. State Records Administrator John Hyrum Martinez was quoted as saying the Richardson administration was the first to turn over e-mail – and there wasn’t a single one sent to or from Richardson’s account or in his deleted box.
That doesn’t mean Richardson didn’t turn over any e-mails. KRQE showed an example of an e-mail Richardson turned over that was sent from a government employee to a redacted personal account belonging to the former governor.
You can watch KRQE’s report on the former governors here:
King cries foul
Meanwhile, Attorney General Gary King, who is investigating allegations of political activity by employees in the Public Education Department that came to light because of leaked private e-mails, went on the offensive on Friday after the state GOP requested his private e-mails.
KOB-TV in Albuquerque reported that King accused the state GOP of trying to “at a minimum take up the time of the Attorney General’s Office.” He also called the records request an attempt to intimidate him. Regardless, he’s in the process of turning over records.
King’s investigation comes after PED recently separated a statewide list of teachers, which included e-mail addresses, into two categories – union and non-union members – before sending it to Gov. Susana Martinez’s political adviser Jay McCleskey, in response to a verbal records request.
McCleskey says that isn’t information he wanted. In response, his consulting business filed a second request for teachers’ addresses – he was apparently seeking home addresses – but PED denied that request.
You can watch KOB’s report here:
You can also watch King’s news conference here:
Union gets home addresses
Finally, the Albuquerque Journal found an interesting angle on the PED situation King is investigating. From its weekend article:
“Whether you get access to personal information for about 3,500 nonunion teachers at Albuquerque Public Schools depends on who’s asking.
“If it’s a member of the general public, or Gov. Susana Martinez’s campaign strategist who would like to pitch the case for the governor’s reforms, it won’t happen.
“If it’s a union leader who wants the information for organizing issues or to send a political message criticizing the governor’s reform agenda – an updated database of information will be provided within weeks of the first day of school each semester.
“APS will deny any Inspection of Public Records Act request for teachers’ home addresses and phone numbers on file because that information is deemed private and protected, said APS spokesman Rigo Chavez.
“But the Albuquerque Teachers Federation has a specific provision dealing with that kind of information in its collective bargaining agreement with APS – unlike Central New Mexico Community College and public school districts in Santa Fe and Rio Rancho.
“The provision requires APS to submit to the union updated reports of all teachers’ home addresses, home phone numbers, Social Security numbers and educational experience at least 20 days after each school starts, Chavez said. The information is updated each January.”
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