One of Blunt's exceptions does not fit
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One of Blunt's exceptions does not fit

Date: October 31, 2007
By: Elizabeth Ford
State Capitol Bureau

Intro: The governor's office is using Missouri legal exemptions to withhold personnel files from Blunt's former attorney, but a national freedom of information expert said that at least one of these exceptions doesn't hold water.

Beth Ford has more from Jefferson City. 

RunTime:
OutCue: SOC

blunt's office is keeping Scott Eckersley's personnel files private after Eckersley was fired reportedly for his work experience.

An exemption in Missouri law allows withholding files when a third party is seeking documents pertaining to another employee, but Executive Director of the National Freedom of Information Coalition Charles Davis said the law is not applicable now. 

Actuality:  DAVIS5.WAV
Run Time: 00:03
Description: "You can't use the personnel exemption on the personnel them self."


As Blunt's deputy counsel, Eckersley advised the governor's office to stop deleting emails, as part of the Sunshine law

From the state capitol, I'm Beth Ford, KMOX News.


Intro: A national expert on Freedom of Information questions the governor's office after they leaked the governor's former attorney's personnel files to the press. 

Beth Ford has more from Jefferson City.

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OutCue: SOC

Blunt's office denied Scott Eckersley access to his personnel files, and maintains the files are closed, according to an exemption in Missouri law.

Executive Director of the National Freedom of Information Coalition Charles Davis said he has seen these cases before, and the governor's office cannot selectively apply the law and closure of the documents to Eckersley and not to the press.

Actuality:  DAVIS4.WAV
Run Time: 00:05
Description: "You can't tell Mr. Eckersley something is exempt and then fifteen minutes later send it to a radio station."

The governor's office fired Eckersley reportedly because of work performance.

Reporting from the state capitol, I'm Beth Ford, KMOX News.

 

 


Intro: The governor's office can withhold personnel documents from the governor's former attorney, but a national expert on Freedom of Information questions Blunt leaking the personnel files to the press.

Beth Ford has more from Jefferson City.

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OutCue: SOC
The files sent to the press are part of those Eckersley requested after the governor's office fired him. Missouri law does not explain how Blunt's office can release boxes of these files to the press and not Eckersley, said Executive Director of the National Freedom of Information Coalition Charles Davis.
Actuality:  DAVIS.WAV
Run Time: 00:09
Description: "It seems completely indefensible that position...that you would say 'we're going to turn this exemption on and off depending on the identity of the requester.'"

Before Eckersley was fired, he advised the governor's office to stop deleting emails, as is required by law.
Reporting from the State Capitol, I'm Beth Ford, KMOX News.