Lawsuit seeks to preserve government-related Palin e-mails

October 4, 2008 

A critic of Gov. Sarah Palin is suing to try to force preservation of any government-related e-mails that Palin sent from private accounts.Andree McLeod, a former state worker, filed the lawsuit against Palin, the Republican vice presidential candidate, in Anchorage on Thursday. Palin's gubernatorial spokeswoman, Sharon Leighow, said Saturday she could not comment on pending litigation.

Palin's e-mail account with Yahoo Inc. was compromised last month by a hacker who revealed as evidence a few inconsequential personal messages she has received since John McCain selected her as his running mate.

Palin used "gov.sarah" in one of the Yahoo e-mail addresses she sometimes used to conduct state business.

The hacker targeted her separate "gov.palin" account. Both have been shut down.

The hacking of Palin's private account is significant because Palin has sometimes used private e-mail accounts to conduct state business. Previously disclosed e-mails indicate her administration embraced Yahoo accounts as an alternative to government e-mail, which could possibly be released to the public under Alaska's Open Records Act.

"Palin's decision to conduct state business in such an unprofessional and secretive manner suggests that her promise to have an ethical, open, honest and transparent administration is pure bogus," McLeod said in a statement Saturday.

"Equally troubling is the fact that most of Palin's private e-mail accounts have recently been shut down," she said. "I'm seeking the court's help by requesting them to tell the governor to obey Alaska's public record laws."

McLeod also has submitted an open records request with the state of Alaska seeking copies from Palin's private e-mail accounts as well as one belonging to her husband, Todd. The Associated Press has submitted similar requests.

In August, McLeod filed an ethics complaint with the attorney general's office against Palin and members of her staff, accusing them of giving a state job to a man who held a fundraiser for Palin.

McLeod has said she worked for the state at various times over decades, the last time after an appointment by then-Gov. Frank Murkowski, whom Palin defeated in the GOP primary in 2006.

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