Another early Christmas present: Ohio Supreme Court says an e-mail doesn’t become non-public through the magic of deletion

Deleted emails still are public records.

In a unanimous ruling yesterday, the Ohio Supreme Court said that commissioners in Seneca County have to dig down deep in their hard drives for e-mail messages requested by the Toledo Blade in 2007.

The e-mails had been deleted. In its lawsuit, the Blade did not accuse the Seneca County commissioners of deleting e-mail messages in order to evade its request.

I’m sure that thought never, ever flittered across the Blade’s collective minds.

There are three commissioners in Seneca County. Two produced no e-mail messages on the topic around which records were requested. A third had substantial gaps in the dates of messages.

The newspaper was looking for a record of deliberations about demolishing the courthouse in Tiffin.

Court Grants Writ for Deleted Emails.


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