Reitz Quoted on Transparency in Michigan Press

Detroit officials using private emails for business

A story in the July 20 edition of the Detroit Free Press exposed various city officials using personal email addresses to conduct city business. Although city policy prohibits the use of private accounts for confidential business, Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan said the cases in question did not involve confidential information.

Mackinac Center Executive Vice President Mike Reitz commented for the story:

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Open records experts said the practice is perilous, potentially making it more difficult for the city to access public records stored on employees’ personal e-mail accounts and easier for public officials to delete e-mails that are subject to the state’s Freedom of Information Act.

“I think it’s very troubling for public employees to use private e-mail accounts to conduct public business,” said Michael Reitz, executive vice president of the Mackinac Center for Public Policy and board member of the Michigan Coalition for Open Government. “It sends a signal to the public that business is being conducted outside the scope of the public records law.”

The full article is available at the Detroit Free Press website. Reitz also discussed the story with WXYZ, a segment which can be viewed here.


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