FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Tuesday, May 12, 2010
Anchorage, Alaska: This morning, political activist Andrée McLeod filed an appeal with the Alaska Supreme Court that requests the Court to review a decision in which Alaska Superior Court Judge Patrick McKay held that emails involving state business that ex-governor Sarah Palin sent or received on her private Yahoo.com email accounts are not public records that are subject to public inspection pursuant to the Alaska Public Records Act.
When she filed her appeal, McLeod commented, “Judge McKay misconstrued the Legislature’s intent to safeguard the right of every Alaskan to know how Executive Branch employees are conducting the public’s business.”
Throughout her 2 ½ year stint, ex-governor Palin and her staff routinely used their Yahoo and other private email accounts to conduct official state business. On October 1, 2008, McLeod went to court to stop the practice.
Three judges later, on January 22, 2010, Superior Court Judge Patrick McKay ruled that the Alaska Legislature intended the Alaska Public Records Act to grant the Office of the Governor unfettered discretion to decide whether any document, including an email sent or received by a state employee on a private email account, is a public record.
McLeod said, “Common sense dictates that state employees should not be allowed to decide for themselves whether a document should or should not be designated as a public record. And common sense dictates that Palin and her staff should not have so recklessly used private email accounts to conduct state business.”
She continued, “I initially filed this action because Sarah Palin miserably failed to carry out the people’s business – our business -- securely or professionally,” McLeod said. “I look forward to the Alaska Supreme Court correcting Judge McKay’s error by confirming that the Legislature intended the Public Records Act to prohibit the use of private email accounts.”
The Alaska Supreme Court is expected to decide Andrée McLeod’s appeal in 2011.