Mayoral candidates call for criminal investigation into deleted emails
Two Boston city councilors and challengers to Mayor Thomas M. Menino are calling for a criminal investigation after a Globe report that revealed that city officials under Mayor Thomas M. Menino have been routinely deleting work emails – a practice that would violate state public records law.
City councilors Michael Flaherty and Sam Yoon, both candidates in the upcoming Democratic preliminary election, said they would ask Attorney General Martha Coakley and Suffolk County District Attorney Daniel F. Conley to investigate the deletion of emails by officials in Menino’s administration.
Flaherty, in a statement, called the Menino administration a “culture of dishonesty,” while Yoon issued a similar statement saying that the recent controversy was “case in point” for term limits and greater checks on the power of the mayor of Boston.
The Sunday Boston Globe reported that officials in Menino’s administration acknowledged that city employees regularly deleted emails. The admission came after the Globe requested copies of emails sent to and received by Michael J. Kineavy, Menino’s Cabinet chief of policy and planning and one of the mayor’s closest advisers. The request turned up just 18 emails Kineavy had sent or received between Oct. 1, 2008 and March 31 of this year. The extremely low result prompted city officials to question Kineavy about what happened to the rest of his email. Kineavy told them that he deletes all his email on a daily basis and does not allow his email to be saved on city backup computers, according to officials.
Menino’s opponents say the practice of deleting emails runs contrary to the expectation of open government.
“This is what happens when power goes unchecked and unopposed,” said Yoon. “Absolute power corrupts absolutely.”