Illinois AG Rules That Public Employees’ Personal Emails Are Public Records

Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan has issued a binding opinion under the state's Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) that email messages sent or received through public employees' personal email accounts may be public records subject to disclosure under FOIA if the messages pertain to public business.

On Jan. 28, 2016, CNN submitted a FOIA request to the Chicago Police Department (CPD) seeking "all emails related to Laquan McDonald from Police Department email accounts and personal email accounts where business was discussed" by 12 police officers. McDonald, who was killed in the incident, was shot 16 times in October 2014 by a Chicago police officer. McDonald was unarmed and the incident drew headlines across the nation. Continue…