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

Providence Regional Medical Center Everett. (Olivia Vanni/The Herald)
Providence nurse’s tearful plea shines light on short-staffed ER

The nurse described an overwhelmed emergency department, as staff have pleaded with the Everett City Council for hazard pay.

FILE - This 2003 electron microscope image made available by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows mature, oval-shaped monkeypox virions, left, and spherical immature virions, right, obtained from a sample of human skin associated with the 2003 prairie dog outbreak. A leading doctor who chairs a World Health Organization expert group described the unprecedented outbreak of the rare disease monkeypox in developed countries as "a random event" that might be explained by risky sexual behavior at two recent mass events in Europe. (Cynthia S. Goldsmith, Russell Regner/CDC via AP, File)
Snohomish Health District hiring full-time monkeypox task force

The county is gearing up for more cases. The outbreak will be evaluated weekly to decide if a four-person team is merited.

Logo for news use featuring the municipality of Lake Stevens in Snohomish County, Washington. 220118
Body found in impounded car in Lake Stevens

In June, Bothell police impounded the vehicle. Last week, a Lake Stevens business found a body inside.

Logo for news use featuring the municipality of Lake Stevens in Snohomish County, Washington. 220118
California woman dies after motorcycle crash west of Lake Stevens

Kimberly Moore was the passenger on a motorcycle Friday morning. She died the next night. She was 53.

A view of the proposed alternative station location to Everett Station located east of the current BNSF rail tracks in downtown. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
Could light rail station under Pacific Avenue and over railroad work?

A group representing people around Everett Station wants Sound Transit to study the idea.

State Representative Robert Sutherland, left, gives a thumbs-up to passing drivers as he and a few volunteers wave flags and campaign signs along the side of State Route 9 on July 22, in Lake Stevens. Sam Low, right, talks with seniors on July 20 in Lake Stevens. (Sutherland photo by Ryan Berry / The Herald, Low photo by Kevin Clark / The Herald)
In GOP battle of Sutherland vs. Low, Democrats may tip the scale

The state lawmaker and Snohomish County council member are vying for a House seat. Democrats make up roughly 40% of the vote.

Food forum
Chocolate peanut butter Incredibles

These chocolate peanut butter bars are, as the name suggests, incredible.

SnoTown Brewing’s Frank Sandoval in 2019. (Aaron Swaney)
SnoTown Brewery owner charged with child molestation

Frank Sandoval conceded his conduct with a girl at his brewery was inappropriate, but he denied touching her sexually, charges say.

Everett
Head-on crash in Everett leaves man with life-threatening injuries

A two-vehicle collision in the 11600 block of Evergreen Way shut down southbound traffic Monday morning.

Most Read