Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Trying To Make Sense Of All These Legal Fees

I have been doing my best to stay clear of New Orleans government issues lately but I just read a story about the continuing email saga that reflects everything wrong with this city. This email drama has been going on for so long and involves so many different people that I can’t remember what the initial reason was we started spending all this money. How about I say what I think and if I am wrong about this someone can correct me. This is just my opinion about the situation. I want to make sure I understand. We just filed a lawsuit against LTC for violating the city's confidentiality agreement. LTC is a technical firm hired to find out what happened to the mayor's emails that were deleted from the city's server. First of all, I don't believe you can accidentally delete thousands of emails and not be able to retrieve them. Network administrators back up everything. Second of all even if that happened the person with enough qualifications to be employed by a major city to do this kind of work would know to call someone who could extract the data from the hard drive before anyone found out about their mistake. Whoever that person is should have been fired as proof there is no intent to cover anything up. Third of all, we have spent all this money to retrieve emails and no one has really explained what are we supposed to be looking for. If all of this is just to see how the mayor feels about some of his political enemies personally then its really a waste of resources. If it has something to do with a federal investigation then why wouldn't the feds take the server and send it to FBI headquarters instead of the city having to pay for it. Fourth of all, the private company the city is paying shouldn't have been participating in press conferences anyway. Turn over what you found to the appropriate people and stay out of it. We shouldn't even know the name of the firm that was hired to do this.

This entire situation has become a big waste of time and money for everyone involved accept for the attorneys employed by city government. Our email obsession has become their personal stimulus package. I don't know exactly how much they make but if I was one of them I would start rumors between officials and local media outlets just to keep them filing motions against one another. I need to find out how to get my attorney friends in on some of this extra money. We need to add up the legal fees spent on hiding or retrieving emails so we can compare that with any real changes towards good government. Then we can see if maybe we should have given all that money to the recreation department or bought some school supplies.

If I am wrong about this please tell me and explain why.


mominem said...

Let me try to make this clear.

These emails are public records. We paid the Mayor's salary we paid for the computers they were written and stored on. You and I own them.

State law requires all public records to be kept for 3 years.

Any member of the public is supposed to be able to request any public document.

This is all compounded by the Mayors continuously shifting explanations of why his emails aren't available and whether or not he has made them available.

In short if a 3 year old acted like this his momma would be all over the kid trying to find out what he had done and what he was hiding.

Add to that his smirking comment about the Council hiding their email, while his were deleted.

He is not above the law. There may or may not be anything in his emails but they are public property he was required by law to preserve them.

He failed to do that and can't explain why he can't produce them.

Clifton said...

I got that part. I'm trying to figure out how we got to the point where we are spending even more money on a lawsuit against a company we shouldn't have had to hire in the first place? Something is not making sense to me.