Missouri AG: text messages are among government officials public records

Submitted by YanqiXu on Tue, 12/12/2017 - 9:11am

JEFFERSON CITY • Attorney General Josh Hawley says text messages are public records under Missouri’s open records law, raising fresh concern about fellow Republican Gov. Eric Greitens’ use of a secretive app that deletes text messages after they’ve been read.

Hawley said his office policy – and legal view — was that text messages sent or received by state employees about state business should be subject to the same rules as emails when it comes to public records under the state’s Sunshine Law.

“Our view is that text messages are like emails,” Hawley told reporters Monday during the presentation of a new program for veterans in his office.

That doesn’t necessarily mean all text messages would be made available upon request, just as all emails are not.

“There is a process for determining what is a record. What’s a closed record? What’s an open record? Our view is that text messages are emails in that respect and should be subject to the same analysis,” Hawley said. Read more...