Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel has released thousands of e mails as part of a lawsuit settlement. The suit arose over his use of a private e mail server for government business. Sound familiar?
Talk about irony! Emanuel was Barack Obama’s Chief of staff and a senior advisor to President Clinton. And pretty much everyone believes that if Hillary Clinton had never used a private e mail server when she was the Secretary of State then she would have won the election this year.
The suit was brought by the Better Government Association and The Chicago Tribune.
Under the deal, Emanuel’s office will release any official government correspondence. But the Mayor of Chicago did not acknowledge that his personal e mails which may contain mentions of government matters need to be released. The Chicago Tribune reports that part of the settlement reads, “The parties disagree about whether emails stored on personal, non-city email accounts related to the transaction of public business are subject to disclosure under the Freedom of Information Act.”
Andy Shaw, the BGA’s president and CEO, said that “Is it possible that there is some material that we might have seen at the end of a long court fight but won’t see right now? Sure. But we’re a small watchdog organization and we have to watch our costs, our use of time and our use of energy, and we thought this was the right thing to do.”
Rahm Emanuel released a statement saying that he is “pleased that we were able to come to a reasonable agreement with the Better Government Association today to ensure that transparency keeps up with technology and the realities of modern communication.”
A new policy will prohibit Chicago City employees from using private e mails for government business. Mayor Emanuel released a statement saying, “The new standard we have set clarifies questions not just for me, but for all of Chicago’s 30, 000 employees.”