On Halloween night last year, the state's director of information technology says, he asked Gov. Matt Blunt's lawyers whether he should move to preserve backup tapes of e-mails being sought in Sunshine Law requests.
Instead, attorneys Rich AuBuchon and Henry Herschel told IT director Dan Ross to take actions that would have ultimately led to the destruction of the records.
But one of Ross' employees, Chris Wilkerson, refused, saying it would be wrong to do anything that might lead public records to be destroyed.
That account emerged in depositions taken in two lawsuits concerning the Blunt administration's handling of e-mails.
One of the lawsuits was brought by fired administration lawyer Scott Eckersley against the governor and various staff members; the other was brought by attorneys appointed by Cole County Circuit Court Judge Richard Callahan. Those attorneys are seeking access to the e-mail records that could prove whether Blunt's office was violating Sunshine Law.
In a deposition in the Eckersley case, Ross says backup tapes of the state's e-mail system were generally put back into a rotation every 60 days. Tapes in that rotation would eventually be destroyed. Wilkerson says in a deposition that he refused to place them in the rotation.
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By: Tony Messenger