County attorney in Florida advises officials on deleting records

Hillsborough County Attorney Chip Fletcher has told county commissioners they don’t need to retain many of their work-related emails and text messages, even though he acknowledges many of the communications may be considered public records under the state’s Sunshine Laws.

The controversial advice comes as the county faces questions about why commissioners didn’t initially turn over public emails and text messages requested by 10Investigates WTSP this summer. In October, when the county eventually provided more than 100 email exchanges between public relations consultant Beth Leytham and county commissioners on their private email accounts, commissioners blamed the failure to comply with the records request on a communications breakdown from the county attorney’s office.

Commission chairwoman Sandy Murman offered an apology for the delay in turning over records and for deleting text messages. Continue…