St. Louis Public Radio News
Wed December 10, 2008
Blunt calls email investigation "ridiculous"
By Marshall Griffin, KWMU
Jefferson City, MO – An attorney fired by Governor Matt Blunt has testified that staffers were encouraged to delete e-mails under the belief that e-mails were not public records
Attorneys for Governor Matt Blunt deposed Scott Eckersley as part of the governor's defense in a lawsuit brought by two special assistant attorneys general.
The lawsuit accuses Blunt of violating the state's open records law, an investigation Blunt lashed out at on Wednesday.
"It is ridiculous, and I think everybody involved (in) this really ought to be ashamed of (themselves) that they've allowed hundreds of thousands of taxpayer dollars to be wasted," Blunt told reporters outside his State Capitol office.
A special team consisting of a Republican attorney and Democratic former Lt. Governor has been seeking to take Blunt's deposition in the email lawsuit.
But on Tuesday a Cole County judge blocked the move, saying the deposition notice was too broad.
So far, the investigation into the deletion of state emails and the firing of a governor's office attorney has cost the state a million dollars.
"The wild goose chase that this investigative team has been on is an utter waste of money...the Attorney General ought to be ashamed this occurred on his watch," Blunt said.
And late this afternoon, Nixon spokesman Scott Holste was subpoenaed to testify in the ongoing suit. In a press release, the Blunt Administration accuses Holste of destroying emails.
KWMU has contacted the Attorney General's office, but so far it has declined to comment.