Lawsuit Over Schuette’s Use of Private Email Accounts Moves Forward

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
News from Progress Michigan 

October 20, 2017

Contact: Sam Inglot, 616-916-0574sam@progressmichigan.org

Lawsuit Over Schuette’s Use of Private Emails Moves Forward

The Court of Claims has denied Schuette’s motion to dismiss the FOIA claim

LANSING — Progress Michigan’s lawsuit to publicly disclose the emails sent using private email accounts by Attorney General Bill Schuette and his staff to conduct state business will continue due to a ruling by the Court of Claims on Thursday. The court denied Schuette’s motion to dismiss the case based on alleged procedural defects in Progress Michigan’s complaint.

“We’re very pleased with the court’s ruling and look forward to finally requiring some transparency from Bill Schuette’s office. It’s long overdue,” said Lonnie Scott, executive director of Progress Michigan. “We have proof that Schuette and his staff have used private email accounts to conduct state business and the public has a right to see those emails and to know how deep the problem goes. This is about ensuring we have elected officials who are transparent and accountable to the people.”

The lawsuit was originally filed in April of this year.

In 2016, Progress Michigan discovered nearly two-dozen emails that used personal — not state — email accounts from 13 AG office staffers, including Bill Schuette, to conduct State of Michigan business. The personal emails were found through several Progress Michigan FOIA requests.

On September 27, 2016, Progress Michigan filed a FOIA request with the Attorney General’s office seeking all emails sent or received by a group of 21 individuals using personal emails to conduct state business. On October 19, 2016, Schuette denied the request saying his office didn’t have the records Progress Michigan was requesting. On November 26, 2016, Progress Michigan asked the Attorney General to reconsider and was subsequently denied. The filing of the lawsuit followed in April 2017.

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