St. Louis Public Radio News
6:42 am
Tue December 23, 2008

Email lawsuit settled

Jefferson City, MO – Missouri Governor Matt Blunt has agreed to settle a lawsuit that accuses him of denying access to emails.

To settle the suit, the Governor's Office will provide copies of emails, free of charge, to two special prosecutors appointed by a Cole County judge and working with Attorney General Jay Nixon.

Blunt and members of his staff had been accused of, "knowing and purposely" violating the state's Sunshine Law by denying access to emails.

The prosecutors had also been attempting to take a deposition from Governor Blunt, who recently called the lawsuit ridiculous.

The Attorney General's Office began investigating the Governor's Office last year after former staff attorney Scott Eckersley was fired.

He claims he was let go for alerting staff that deleting state emails might violate the Sunshine Law.

But Blunt has said Eckersley was fired for doing personal work on state time.

Jessica Robinson is Governor Blunt's Press Secretary.

"Through no fault of the Governor's Office, Missourians have been charged more than $600,000 for tens of thousands of email documents that really prove the governor's office was telling the truth," Robinson said.

Copies of the emails have also been made available to media outlets that had sought to join the suit.

KWMU contacted the Attorney General's Office for this story, but they have not responded.