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Court: Schuette, aides violated FOIA by using private e-mails

Attorney General Bill Schuette
Bill Schuette

The Michigan Supreme Court says a progressive group can seek emails that could show then-Attorney General Bill Schuette and members of his staff trying to shield some of their activities by using private accounts.

The attorney general office’s denial said the communications either did not exist or were exempt from disclosure because they were sent via private e-mail accounts. The A-G’s office also said Progress Michigan made technical errors that dragged the request past the statute of limitations. 

Progress Michigan Director Lonnie Scott cheered the decision.

“We believe this sets a precedent that any of those documents that are created using a personal e-mail account are still subject to FOIA. For transparency’s sake, for state government, that still has to be the case,” Scott said. 

Today’s ruling sends the case back to the Michigan Court of Claims.

Schuette, a Republican, lost a bid for governor in 2018 to Democrat Gretchen Whitmer.

Rick Pluta is Senior Capitol Correspondent for the Michigan Public Radio Network. He has been covering Michigan’s Capitol, government, and politics since 1987.
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