According to the Municipal Research and Services Center of Washington (www.mrsc.org), the City of Renton is trying to find out just how many ways they can violate the public records act.
Through multiple requests, which was basically the same request reiterated multiple times, I’ve constantly asked that the personal email accounts of city employees be searched for public records. Not once have I received a response to this request. In over a year. Not a single response.
My guess is that if anything, Public Records Officer Katie McClincy might have asked anyone in her beloved agency if they have business emails in their personal email accounts and left it at that. If that was the extent of the ‘searching’, it was woefully inadequate. Since I have seen emails recommending that emails be deleted (recommended by the public records officer herself!), I can also guess that the employees have cleaned out there email accounts, in direct violation of the state public records act.
So here we stand with public officials (police officers no less), deleting and hiding public records to avoid public embarrassment for their misdeeds. Their acts of withholding and destroying public records is even worse than the misdeeds themselves, unless there is something really nefarious going on in this police department.
This brings us to the current state of failure to preserve public records with text messages. Initially, I have been told that there were only 10 mobile devices in this police department, but now I find there are “over 90”. Also, I was told text messaging wasn’t conducted for business, but after asking for how many text messages in a month, I am told that there are over 1,500 per month and yes, some are business (public records) but are deleted since they are not public records. WTH?