FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Thursday, October 18, 2012
With a recent Alaska Supreme Court decision in hand,
McLeod continues fight for the fundamental right to access public records
Anchorage, Alaska: A public records request (below) has been submitted to the Alaska Governor’s Office by Alaska resident Andrée McLeod (R) that requests Governor Parnell to, among other things, comply with the Alaska Public Records Act and finally release public records and emails she first requested in 2008. It was in July of that year that McLeod first discovered that Palin and members of her administration were using private email accounts to conduct official business of the State of Alaska. Her request to the Office of the Governor to inspect those public records was filed on October 1, 2008.
“Four years and several attorneys general later, the Parnell administration has yet to act in accordance with the law and release public documents,” McLeod said.
Attached to today’s request are three previously released emails (attached) that show instances of when Palin and others, like then Lt. Governor Parnell and Palin’s former Attorney General Talis Colberg, established a way to keep communications out of the public’s reach.
The first one is a December 19, 2007 email between Palin and her top aide Frank Bailey that shows the aim to ‘get more secure and avoid the State system straight to your blackberry.’ (Within 9 months, one of the Yahoo accounts that Palin commonly used for official state business was hacked into by a college student.)
The other emails are dated a month later, January 18, 2008, and include Palin, Parnell, Colberg and Bailey discussing the challenges they face in having to adhere to state and federal reporting requirements in emails with the subject line: Update on Tax Policies for Electronic Listed Property. The exchanges include Parnell writing to Palin, “I’m with you and will do the same. I’ll likely go to a personal email account on the blackberry if the monthly charge is doable. Then, all our email will go to your personal acct and mine.”
McLeod’s records request states, “That attempt by public officials to circumvent the nondiscretionary requirements of the Alaska Public Records Act is as troubling as it is disheartening.” The statement is immediately followed with a request for public records on the private email accounts and personal devices/blackberries of the Palins, Parnell, Colberg, and Bailey that are not the subject of her initial request.
“To top things off, I finally received word last month that even though Palin is no longer a public official, the state still affords her with an official email account.” McLeod continued, “Obviously, today’s request includes the opportunity to inspect each and every record on those two accounts from the time Palin quit until now.”
McLeod attached the document that indicates there are still two actively maintained State of Alaska email accounts for Palin – firstname.lastname@example.org and email@example.com.
“Here it is, October 2012, I’m still waiting for my government to fulfill my 2008 request to inspect public records, after a detour to the Alaska Supreme Court, and still more disturbing information comes to light about how the Palin and Parnell administrations dishonored the public trust,” McLeod said