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Iowa governor scrutinized over personal e-mail use.

During his first two years as Iowa governor, Chet Culver did not use his state e-mail account, instead opting to use a private e-mail account in what critics called an effort to avoid public records laws.

But after receiving media scrutiny over the practice, Culver has changed his policy and has begun using his state e-mail account for public business, the Associated Press (AP) reported.


Culver aides told the AP the governor and Lt. Gov. Patty Judge used private e-mail accounts and computers to make sure they didn't violate state laws banning public officials from using public e-mail accounts for political or personal purposes.

But public records advocates had scoffed, saying the politicians could simply use state e-mail for government business and their private accounts for personal matters if they wanted to err on the side of disclosure.

Just weeks after the AP began questioning the governor's office about his e-mail use, however, Culver's spokesman Troy Price said the governor and lieutenant governor had begun to use their state e-mail account for state business.

"The manner in which the governor and lieutenant governor used private e-mail provided a record of their communications on state business, and at the same time ensured that no public resources were being used for either private or personal purposes," Price said in a statement. "However, the governor and lieutenant governor want to leave no doubt in anyone's mind as to their commitment to open government."

Culver and Judge declined AP interview requests, which has fried public records requests for Culver's and Judge's private e-mails.
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Title Annotation:E-MAIL
Publication:Information Management Journal
Date:May 1, 2009
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