Tuesday, February 16, 2016

We report, you decide.

What is the Clarion-Ledger up to?

The state newspaper asked for  all text messages from the city-issued cell phones of the Mayors of Jackson, Brandon, Pearl, Madison, Clinton, and Flowood.   It also asked for  text messages pertaining to municipal business from their personal cellphones as well.   The public records requests were filed on February 4. JJ obtained copies of several of the public records request through public records requests.  The Clarion-Ledger also asked each city to provide the records for free. Several requests are posted below but the same exact request was submitted to each city.


Brandon

This request is made under the Mississippi Public Records Act of 1983, Miss. Code Ann. § 25-61-1 et seq. (Supp. 1996), which guarantees the public’s access to information in the custody of governmental agencies. I respectfully request:

Any and all text messages sent or received by Mayor Butch Lee’s city cell phone and any and all work-related text messages from Lee’s personal phone in the month of November, 2015.

Because this information is intended to benefit the general public, I request that you waive any costs or fees. If you assess any charges related to this records request, please contact me before proceeding with this records request.

Where exemptions to the Public Records Act are discretionary, I ask you not to withhold such records, even if they might qualify for withholding under the law. If you withhold any records as exempt, please redact the exempted portions and release the remainder of the records, as required by § 25-61-9(2) of the Public Records Act. In any case where you withhold public records, please explain in writing any such denial, as required by the Records Act.

Please contact me at xxx xxx xxxx or email me at awolfe@gannett.com with any questions or to arrange for me to pick up the documents. I look forward to your reply as soon as is practicable, no more than 7 business days.

Thank you for your cooperation
Best,

Anna Wolfe
Reporter, The Clarion-Ledger
201 S. Congress St.
Jackson MS
Office: 601-961-7326
Cell: xxx xxx xxxx


Clinton

This request is made under the Mississippi Public Records Act of 1983, Miss. Code Ann. § 25-61-1 et seq. (Supp. 1996), which guarantees the public’s access to information in the custody of governmental agencies. I respectfully request:

Any and all text messages sent or received by Mayor Phil Fisher’s city cell phone and any and all work-related text messages from Fisher’s personal phone in the month of November, 2015.

Because this information is intended to benefit the general public, I request that you waive any costs or fees. If you assess any charges related to this records request, please contact me before proceeding with this records request.

Where exemptions to the Public Records Act are discretionary, I ask you not to withhold such records, even if they might qualify for withholding under the law. If you withhold any records as exempt, please redact the exempted portions and release the remainder of the records, as required by § 25-61-9(2) of the Public Records Act. In any case where you withhold public records, please explain in writing any such denial, as required by the Records Act.

Please contact me at xxx xxx xxxx or email me at sfowler@gannett.com with any questions or to arrange for me to pick up the documents. I look forward to your reply as soon as is practicable, no more than 7 business days.

Thank you for your cooperation.

Sarah Fowler
Reporter

The Clarion-Ledger
Jackson, MS 39201
C: xxx xxxxx| O: 601-961-7303
@FowlerSarah
ClarionLedger.com


Madison

This request is made under the Mississippi Public Records Act of 1983, Miss. Code Ann. § 25-61-1 et seq. (Supp. 1996), which guarantees the public’s access to information in the custody of governmental agencies. I respectfully request:

Any and all text messages sent or received by Mayor Mary Hawkins Butler’s city cell phone and any and all work-related text messages from Butler’s personal phone in the month of November, 2015.

Because this information is intended to benefit the general public, I request that you waive any costs or fees. If you assess any charges related to this records request, please contact me before proceeding with this records request.
Where exemptions to the Public Records Act are discretionary, I ask you not to withhold such records, even if they might qualify for withholding under the law. If you withhold any records as exempt, please redact the exempted portions and release the remainder of the records, as required by § 25-61-9(2) of the Public Records Act. In any case where you withhold public records, please explain in writing any such denial, as required by the Records Act.

Please contact me at xxx xxxx xxxx or email me at sfowler@gannett.com with any questions or to arrange for me to pick up the documents. I look forward to your reply as soon as is practicable, no more than 7 business days.

Thank you for your cooperation.


Sarah Fowler
Reporter
The Clarion-Ledger
Jackson, MS 39201
C: xxx xxxxx | O: 601-961-7303
@FowlerSarah
ClarionLedger.com

36 comments:

Anonymous said...

CL reporter "Sir, do you have any information for me?" Mayors "Go fish..."

Anonymous said...

Why not Ridgeland?

Anonymous said...

They have something on one of them, and need to subpoena all to keep other media outlets guessing.

Anonymous said...

How about Rankin BOS ? If they are willing to say on video that they intentionally skirt open meetings rules, no telling what is in their email.

The Reverend Dr. Lemonjello X. Q. Washington, Jr. III, Esq. said...

I think they're trying to find out who doesn't support renaming Flag Chapel Road to President Barack Obama Drive so they can call them racist.

The renaming of said street is 100% motivated by race and that's the real irony.

Kingfish said...

Somehow I think the request to waive fees will be denied.

Anonymous said...

Somehow I don't think any of those Mayors fear Sam Hall. And why should they.

Anonymous said...

I think each muncipality can ask for a narrowing of the request. I think the C-L will be hard pressed to defend such a broad fishing expedition in court without providing the court with some level of specificity as to the subject matter they seek in the public interest. Of course the C-L would agree to any such hearing being done so in an open public court.

Anonymous said...

Imagine what our idiot public officials would be up to without newspapers, blogs and the occasional good citizen keeping them in check. If our local paper would do more investigative type work and less BS "employee of the month" type stuff I would pay more.

Anonymous said...

This request is exactly why you should have a work cell phone and a private cell phone.

Mayor Mary is the likely story....she burns a cell phone up too.....has several.....given the timing it probably has to do with the BOS elections and decisions made regarding vote counts......stay tuned

Anonymous said...

I’d love to read some of Stoke’s texts.
That is . . . if he even knows how to send a text message.

Anonymous said...

Ashley Madison coming back to bite someone?

Anonymous said...

Public records are public records. The CL shouldn't have to justify asking for things that are public.

Anonymous said...

Stokes would have to use a stylus to text. His fingers are too fat to type on a tiny keyboard.

Anonymous said...

I bet Gary Rhodes text on the wastewater plant are quite interesting.

Anonymous said...

8:45 is right. No one has to justify seeing a public record. Fish all ya want.

Anonymous said...

Airport stuff? Police chasing cars into Hinds county?

Anonymous said...

Something stinks with Rankin BOS they are up to no good.

Seven Foot Fence Around Clarion Lejure said...

Can they redact stuff about peacocks, The Gold Coast, Indian stores, swingin' bridges, and Ben Allen?

Anonymous said...

Yep, police chasing $40 shoplifters into Jackson.

Anonymous said...

Did y'all watch Rankin BOS video in Anna 's
Story.

Anonymous said...

Have y'all looked at your cell phone bills lately?
If we are paying for their cell phone costs, we might should know if their data sharing is only on public business or if they are using them for personal use as well!
It may be as simple as how much are these cells phones costing the taxpayer.

Anonymous said...

Interesting request from an outfit that by their own admission purposefully hid known details pre-announcement about the Continental deal from the public but then, after the fact, complained about the lack of vetting and mad rush to approve.

Anonymous said...

Yep, police chasing $40 shoplifters into Jackson.

February 16, 2016 at 11:17 PM

No, actually the police were chasing a suspected criminal who was fleeing from the police, which is a felony any way you cut it. If the criminal didn't flee, there'd be no chase.

Anonymous said...

If they are properly accounting for the personal use of city provided cell phones (in accordance with IRS guidelines), wouldn't they have the ability to redact any messages or calls deemed to be personal to/from those devices?

Anonymous said...

getting the same info from ridgeland re Costco would be of some interest too.....

Anonymous said...

Personal texts/emails are not subject to disclosure. Only city business is subject to disclosure. Also, Apple refuses to allow any third party access to their code. So no one outside of Apple has the ability to archive text messages generated via Apple device. Accordingly, only text messages that are actually contained on an iPhone device that have not been deleted will be available for production. Somebody please alert the ethics commission that Apple DOES NOT ALLOW ARCHIVING OF TEXT MESSAGES.

Anonymous said...

All for accountability, but would have more respect for the requests if they were coming from credible journalists. Knowing them, it is some witch hunt. Wasting city employees' time (and not wanting to pay for it!).

Anonymous said...

Anna Wolfe is hot!

Anonymous said...

That is why Anna had to leave the JFP. Not plumb enough.

Nuff2Say said...

Yep... Anna Wolfe is a hottie... I would pillow talk politics with her!!!!

Anonymous said...

They may simply just be testing to see if local officials are aware that they must comply with the law, or at least aware that there is a law. No one will enforce it if they fail to comply.

Anonymous said...

Ok, gross, 4:02, 8:19 and 10:45. Poor girl. Bad enough that she works where she works, and now perverts are after her.

Anonymous said...

If a text is sent from one iPhone to another under the iMessage feature, not only will the content of the text not be available, the to-and-from phone numbers will NOT show up on the bill.

The simple truth is, if you don't want someone seeing your messages, be sure you both have an iPhone.

Anonymous said...

Anna Wolfe is being forced to work at the Clarion-Ledger? Imagine that.

Anonymous said...

8:09 You do not know what you are talking about. All you need is one phone with the entire conversation intact. The data is downloadable and easily gotten.

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In order to help clean up the legal profession, Adam Kilgore of the Mississippi Bar will be giving away free, round-trip plane tickets to the North Pole where they keep their bar complaint forms (which are NOT available online). If you don't want to go to the North Pole, you can enjoy Brant Brantley's (of the Mississippi Commission on Judicial Performance) free guided tours of the quicksand field over by High Street where all complaints against judges disappear. If for some reason you are unable to control yourself, never fear; Judge Houston Patton will operate his jail where no lawyers are needed or allowed as you just sit there for minutes... hours.... months...years until he decides he is tired of you sitting in his jail. Do not think Judge Patton is a bad judge however as he plans to serve free Mad Dog 20/20 to all inmates.

Trollfest '09 is a pet-friendly event as well. Feel free to bring your dog with you and do not worry if your pet gets hungry, as employees of the Jackson Zoo will be on hand to provide some of their animals as food when it gets to be feeding time for your little loved one.

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This is definitely a Beaver production.


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Trollfest '07

Jackson Jambalaya is the home of Trollfest '07. Catch this great event which promises to leave NE Jackson & Fondren in flames. Sonjay Poontang and his band headline the night with a special steel cage, no time limit "loser must leave town" bout between Alan Lange and "Big Cat"Donna Ladd following afterwards. Kamikaze will perform his new song F*** Bush, he's still a _____. Did I mention there was no referee? Dr. Heddy Matthias and Lori Gregory will face off in the undercard dueling with dangling participles and other um, devices. Robbie Bell will perform Her two latest songs: My Best Friends are in the Media and Mama's, Don't Let Your Babies Grow up to be George Bell. Sid Salter of The Clarion-Ledger will host "Pin the Tail on the Trial Lawyer", sponsored by State Farm.

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If you get tired come relax at the Fox News Tent. To gain admittance to the VIP section, bring either your Republican Party ID card or a Rebel Flag. Bringing both will entitle you to free drinks.Get your tickets now. Since this is an event for trolls, no ID is required, just bring the hate. Bring the family, Trollfest '07 is for EVERYONE!!!

This is definitely a Beaver production.

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