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Easley Doubts That Notes Prove His Office Ordered E-mails Tossed

Posted April 1, 2008

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— Gov. Mike Easley said Tuesday he is not convinced that notes scribbled by public information officers within his administration prove that his office ordered public records destroyed.

Speaking after the regular monthly meeting of the Council of State, Easley said that interpretation bothered him.

Easley recently created a panel, in part, to give state employees improved guidance on when to retain or dispose of e-mail. He acted after a fired spokeswoman for the state Department of Health and Human Services said state employees were told to delete e-mails they sent to the governor's office.

“We need to look, I believe, at what we need to save,” said Franklin Freeman, a senior adviser to Easley and the panel's chairman.

Freeman said that with nearly 900,000 e-mails coming into the executive branch of state government each day, storing them can be a challenge.

Over the weekend, published notes by two public information officers supported the former employee's claim. The notes indicated the governor's press office told public information officers, during a May 29 meeting, to delete e-mails.

Easley said he asked members of his staff to examine further what the public information officers were told to do. He said he would have a problem if his staff told others to delete records.

If criminal violations are uncovered, he will notify the State Bureau of Investigation, Easley said.

E-mails are public record, and throwing them away without following the guidelines set by the state is a misdemeanor.

According to Easley, the instructions to delete messages identified in the notes weren't followed, or perhaps public information officers were told to print and save e-mails that are public records before deleting them from their computers.


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  • fkhaywood Apr 2, 2008

    Why the big hoopla? Once something is entered on a computer hard drive, it is 'always' there until it is written over, even after it has been deleted. How do the you think the Police. FBI, etc can reconstitute evidence from a confistucated computer. It merely takes special computer software that only law enforcement has access to to bring it back. Take the Govs computer and send to the FBI, they can bring back all the deleted emails and also see which web sites he may have visited!!!

  • abbottfouroaks Apr 2, 2008

    SSDD - same stuff different day for Easley. He did the same thing to me from 1999 through 20001. Tried to report a problem with my checking account at Centura Bank - nothing I sent to the Attorney General's office ever arrived. Amazing how bad and inefficient the post office is.

  • TechRescue Apr 2, 2008

    How stupid does Easley think North Carolinians are?

    Pretty stupid, from the looks of it... A few weeks ago, he was defending this policy - "I chunked it". Now, he's like all upset about it, saying he'd authorize an "SBI investigation in a minute" if he thought it was true. Don't hold your breath waiting for that....

    Still got that 'Stop Corruption - Vote Democratic" bumper sticker? Might want to start scraping - the Democratic leadership in this state has shown the Nation just how crooked a bunch of politicians can be. Black, Wright, Scott-Phipps, Easley, McAllister.... the list goes on.

    The really sad part is that we'll likely give them a confidence vote this fall so that they can continue making NC look like a bunch of stupid yokels bamboozled by some slick-talking shysters.

    I guess Easley knows how stupid the majority of us are...