Fairbanks borough investigates missing Miller e-mails

Fairbanks borough investigates missing Miller e-mails
by Amanda Bohman / abohman@newsminer.com Fairbanks Daily News Miner

FAIRBANKS — Republican U.S. Senate candidate Joe Miller allegedly deleted years of e-mails before quitting his job last year as a part-time attorney for the Fairbanks North Star Borough, and the borough wants to know why.

Miller, whose tenure at the borough has come under scrutiny in connection with his Senate campaign, responded to the allegation through attorney Thomas Van Flein.

Van Flein wrote in a letter that deleting non-essential e-mails is borough policy and by suggesting otherwise the borough is attempting to harass and smear Miller.

“What is your purpose — to falsely threaten Mr. Miller with criminal prosecution and to intimidate him so he would stand down his campaign?” the attorney wrote. Miller and his former employer exchanged letters about the deleted e-mails in October.

The campaign is over, and Borough Attorney Rene Broker said she still wants an explanation for why Miller deleted the e-mails involving as many as six personal accounts, which were used to conduct government business, shortly before abruptly leaving his job.

“I wanted to hear from him about what happened. Why are they gone?” she said.

She said Miller’s use of private e-mail accounts for public business was not unusual. Because he was a part-time employee with a private law practice, Miller would send things to his personal e-mail accounts to access them while away from his office at the borough building.

She said municipal employees’ private e-mail accounts are subject to public records inspections when used for government business.

The deletion of the e-mails became public when the borough released documents about Miller’s employment in compliance with a court order.

The borough has been aware of the deleted e-mails since shortly after Miller left employment in September 2009 and contacted Miller about the e-mails during the Senate campaign after it was flooded with requests for public records involving Miller, Broker said.

Officials believe they recovered most of the deleted e-mails, Broker said, but they want to be sure.

Read more: Fairbanks Daily News-Miner – Fairbanks borough investigates missing Miller e mails

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