AG rejects Seattle man’s request for 600 million emails

  • By Jerry Cornfield
  • Friday, February 13, 2015 12:43pm
  • Local News

Tim Clemans of Seattle won’t be getting any of the estimated 600 million emails of state employees he sought – so he’s decided to ask for more.

On Thursday, the office of Attorney General Bob Ferguson notified Clemans that the request he sent to dozens of state agencies Feb. 5 didn’t comport with the Public Records Act because it did not seek any identifiable records as the state law requires.

“Rather, your email demands that every email ever sent to or from these agencies – our initial estimate is some 600 million emails – be reviewed to determine whether redaction is required,” reads the rejection letter.

In its letter, the AG’s office noted that the “identifiable record” criterion is not a high bar to meet but it “must have some meaning if the PRA is to operate for the benefit of all requesters and serve the purposes of the initiative passed by the people.”

Clemans responded Friday with a new public records request covering reports and documents as well as emails.

“The primary issue of my last state agencies email request was that it is hard to find emails not requiring redaction and therefore unidentifiable,” he wrote in his request. “Therefore I’m asking for all emails. And because the AG is jerking me around…I want as many records as I can get my hands on.”

The approach of the AG’s office follows a similar action by the University of Washington last month when it rejected a request from Clemans who asked for all records at the university from that date back to “the formation of the Earth 4.54 billion years ago.”

In its response to Clemans, the UW Office of Public Records concluded: “Your request does not qualify as a proper public records request. It does not request specific identifiable records, but rather requests every record ever ‘generated or edited’ by the University (presumably).”

Talk to us

More in Local News

Homes along 55th Avenue SE in the Silver Firs neighborhood on Wednesday, Feb. 24, 2021 in Everett, Wa. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
Assessor: Typical 2021 homeowner tax bill akin to last year’s

Snohomish County property owners will get tax statements in March. Some increased. Others decreased.

Amy Perusse, who has worked as the Everett School District's Kids in Transition coordinator for seven years, has been recognized by Education Week as one of 11 "Leaders to Learn From." (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
‘Quite an honor’ for district’s champion of homeless students

Once a teen mom, Everett’s Kids in Transition coordinator wins national recognition by Education Week.

Lilliana (Lilli) Broce
Edmonds Rotary honors Meadowdale junior

Edmonds Rotary honors Meadowdale junior The Rotary Club of Edmonds has honored… Continue reading

A driver struck a woman in a motorized wheelchair Saturday in Lynnwood. (Lynnwood police)
Woman on wheelchair hit by car in Lynnwood, seriously hurt

The woman was on a sidewalk, passing by a drive-thru in Lynnwood, when a driver pulled out and hit her.

State Patrol worker from Everett charged with attempted child rape

Trevor Smith worked as a commercial vehicle enforcement officer assigned inspecting school buses.

Missing Lynnwood girl found, man she was with arrested

The man, 32, is being investigated for harboring a minor and second-degree child molestation.

FILE - In this Jan. 7, 2021, file photo, the Legislative Building is shown partially shrouded in fog at the Capitol in Olympia, Wash. Washington state's richest residents, including Bill Gates and Jeff Bezos, would pay a wealth tax on certain financial assets worth more than $1 billion under a proposed bill whose sponsor says she is seeking a fair and equitable tax code. Under the bill, starting Jan. 1, 2022, for taxes due in 2023, a 1% tax would be levied not on income, but on "extraordinary" assets ranging from cash, publicly traded options, futures contracts, and stocks and bonds. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren, File)
Federal package could drive more than $10B to Washington

The state would get $7.6B for COVID response, schools and child care. Snohomish County is in line for $160M.

Samantha Lake
Missing girl, 12, found safely

Seattle FBI located Samantha Lake on Friday.

NO CAPTION NECESSARY: Logo for the Cornfield Report by Jerry Cornfield. 20200112
Clean fuels and police tactics advance, drug law fix arrives

Here’s what’s happening on Day 50 of the 2021 session of the Washington Legislature.

Most Read