Monday, April 7, at 12:17 p.m., Rheinheimer emailed me:
. "The County does not have any particular policy requiring employees to delete e-mails in strict compliance with Arizona State Library retention schedules but, as you can see, it can sometimes cause confusion when two people communicate by e-mail and one deletes in accordance with the retention schedule and one does not.
. "I hope this answers your inquiry."
Monday, April 7, at 12:17 p.m., Rheinheimer emailed me:
At 1:53 p.m. I emailed back "Can you please point me to the specific schedule of the retention list which you have in mind?"
And at 2:33 p.m. I added
. "-- if Call's computer didn't have the documents because he deleted them, but a Planning Department employee didn't delete hers, then it's possible that other Department employees haven't deleted theirs yet. I request production from their computers, then. If the documents exist in any location, I want to see them.
. "Further, if Call merely 'deleted' his files, they may still exist on his hard drive. Has that search been made?
. "All this is, of course, independent of whether or not Call should have deleted his emails yet; and I look forward to seeing the state rule allowing that.
. "Thank you for your anticipated cooperation and adherence to the law."
On April 8, at 9:17 a.m., Rheinheimer emailed me: "Since I have completed looking into your original inquiry/complaint sent to me on March 31, I am going to forward this string to Mr. Hanson in the civil department of the County Attorney's Office to handle further public records requests. If you have any further requests, in the interest of time efficiency, please forward them directly to Mr. Hanson."
At 9:32 a.m., I emailed back:
. "If you think you've completed looking into my complaint, I think you have low standards for doing your job.
. "You appear to be passing the buck and generating more delay. Whether from you or Hanson, I look forward to seeing a citation to your authority for stating that Call kept his emails as long as required. My authority for saying he should have kept them is
in particular the comment about records being 'historically significant,' to be kept permanently when they 'Document a controversial issue.' We certainly have a controversial issue here, with public officers making substantial amounts of money from private groups who promote items that the officers will vote on.
. "I do hope that County officers aren't deleting emails as fast as they can while you pass the buck.
. "Can I get the remaining production Thursday?"
I sent a cc of that to Hanson, but got back the auto-reply that he was returning to the office on April 7 -- an inappropriate message for April 8.
More to follow. -- and now that my computer works again, here it is:
On Wednesday, April 9, I emailed Hanson again, including . "With your office's position being that Call's computer didn't have some emails because he deletes them quickly, the result is that emails can be found only on other computers than Call's, for instance, computers of Planning Department employees. But your last position was that there would be nothing produced from the computers of employees. Are you going to stick to that position, or are you going to get the production requested? . "I hope that employees haven't been deleting their emails while I've been waiting for production. That would be especially bad since the State position is that documents involved in scandals are historical documents, never to be deleted at all. . "I still hope to obtain production Thursday. Please let me know in a timely fashion."
No answer from Hanson. His silence invokes another statute: "Access to a public record is deemed denied if a custodian fails to promptly respond to a request for production of a public record or fails to provide to the requesting person an index of any record or categories of records that are withheld from production ...." See ARS 39-121.01(E) at . http://www.azleg.gov/FormatDocument.asp?inDoc=/ars/39/00121-01.htm&Title=39&DocType=ARS
Also on April 9, I emailed Hanson that:
. "I am emailing you directly because your boss, Ed Rheinheimer, hasn't answered anything from me since his email yesterday referring my documents request back to you. . "With your office's position being that Call's computer didn't have some emails because he deletes them quickly, the result is that emails can be found only on other computers than Call's, for instance, computers of Planning Department employees. But your last position was that there would be nothing produced from the computers of employees. Are you going to stick to that position, or are you going to get the production requested? . "I hope that employees haven't been deleting their emails while I've been waiting for production. That would be especially bad since the State position is that documents involved in scandals are historical documents, never to be deleted at all. . "I still hope to obtain production Thursday. . "Please let me know in a timely fashion."
I got some production on April 16. Then nothing.
On May 3, I emailed, to the custodian of records, and others:
. "This is a reminder of my two outstanding public records requests, 14-08 and 14-10, whose texts are at the foot of this email. . "I haven't heard from you for three weeks now, and a few statements in Mr. Hanson's email of March 19 make it necessary to clarify the law so that your response to my requests will do what the law requires. For convenience, Hanson's email is online within . http://littlebigdog.net/CallAndResponse.htm . "Hanson wrote 'We are denying your request for communications between Commissioner Weissler and her husband. These are confidential and private, except and unless any such communications are conducted as official County business.' Whatever Hanson says, Arizona law requires the person in charge of producing records to redact personal parts of correspondence, and produce the rest. Hanson's answer implies that some correspondence between Weissler and her husband includes parts which are not privileged. If you do not produce those parts, you will not be following Arizona law. I don't want you to be put in that situation. There's been no production of any correspondence between Weissler and her husband, so I'm asking you to pay special attention to this issue. . "Hanson wrote that I 'have requested all communications between Supervisor Call and "any Planning Department employee, including but not limited to Beverly Wilson, Mike Turisk, and Keith Dennis." Public Records Coordinator Lemons requested Ms. Wilson, Mr. Turisk and Mr. Dennis to provide all such communications with Supervisor Call. Ms. Lemons also asked Supervisor Call for all communications that fall within your request. However, she did not ask all Planning Department employees to conduct a search for communications with Supervisor Call, nor will she be doing so. The Planning Department has numerous employees; requesting all of them to stop work in order to conduct such a search is not reasonable.' However, Hanson's thoughts about what's reasonable are trumped by the law's statements of what's required. Hanson shouldn't tell you to disobey a law he doesn't like. The law requires you to comply with my request as to all Planning Department employees, and I'm asking you to do so. . "Hanson added that my request for emails to and from all Department employees 'is an ongoing request, which not only would require numerous employees to periodically cease work to search, but also would impose an unreasonable administrative burden on Ms. Lemons to continually track the individual searches by all of these employees.' As before, the law's requirements trump Hanson's ideas, and I'm asking you to do what the law requires. . Hanson said that 'Supervisor Call's search for "all Planning Department employees", which turned up no documents, will suffice.' Hanson is incorrect as a matter of fact. After Hanson made his statement that Call's computer found nothing, you produced documents including emails between Call and Department employees, thereby demonstrating that Call's search of his own computer will not suffice. I'd ask you to be guided by the facts, not opinions by Hanson which are contradicted by the facts. . "Hanson added 'The same response applies to your request for all communications between Commissioner Weissler and "any Planning Department employee." Ms. Lemons has checked with Ms. Weissler for such communications and will continue to do so periodically, but will not be asking all Planning Department employees to do so. The same response applies to your request for all communications between Commissioner Weissler and other Planning Commissioners. The same response applies to your request for all communications between Supervisor Call and all Commissioners.' Hanson appears to have advised you not to ask Department employees to search their computers. I'd ask you to do what the law requires. . "Hanson said that I have made documents requests 'on "a continuing basis hereafter". The County will comply with this request. However, you should be aware that continuing requests do not last in perpetuity. If, during any continuous three month period, no documents fit the continuing request, thereafter the County will presumptively no longer honor the continuing request; but, if documents have fit the continuing request, the County will presumptively continue to honor the continuing request for another three months. If continuing requests accumulate to the point that the administrative burden becomes too time-consuming and expensive, we will review whether to continue honoring continuing requests.' Hanson's ideas of what the County will 'presumptively' do are irrelevant to what the law requires. I'd ask that you follow the law. . "Thank you for your consideration of these matters, and I look forward to more productive production." Public Records Request 14-08: This is a public records request (for non-commercial purposes) for me to inspect, and copy or be allowed to copy: - all communications, written or electronic, and all memoranda or notes of the communications described herein, including material kept not only in offices or on office computers, but at any location and on home or portable computers, tablets, and telephones; and including standard emails, and other means of electronic communications including but not limited to "tweets"; - and made from December 1, 2013, through today, January 27, 2014, and on a continuing basis hereafter; and - between County Supervisor Pat Call and any Planning Department employee, including but not limited to Beverly Wilson, Mike Turisk, and Keith Dennis; - or between Supervisor Call and any Planning & Zoning Commissioner; - or between Commissioner Weissler and any Planning Department employee, or any other Commissioner, or her husband Robert Weissler; - or between Commissioner Weissler and deputy county attorney Adam Ambrose concerning the list that Weissler discusses in the email already produced and copied at http://littlebigdog.net/PNZWaterEmail1.jpg concerning the "order of the motions on the water regs," to quote her email. In anticipation of the County Attorney's assertion of attorney-client privilege for a communication with his employees, please note that no attorney-client privilege can exist with respect to this list because it was advice about a political procedure, not a legal matter, and because any hypothetical privilege was waived by Weissler's discussion in this email; - or between Commissioner Weissler and any employee of the County Attorney, so far as the communication includes matters other than legal advice.
Public Records Request 14-10: A. This is a public records request (for non-commercial purposes) for me to inspect, and copy or be allowed to copy, all communications, memoranda, or notes of communications, in any electronic or non-electronic form, kept at any location --
-- 1, between County Supervisor Call and anyone connected with any Walton family foundation. This request is based on the following: County Supervisor Call, in an email to Planning Department employee Beverly Wilson at 5:58 a.m. on January 22, 2014, said "I have a 9 AM call this morning with the Walton family foundation regarding the Mansker stormwater capture projects". -- 2, between Supervisor Call and Planning Department employee Beverly Wilson concerning the subjects to be discussed at any Planning & Zoning Commission meeting. This request is based on the following: Call, in an email to Wilson at 4:08 p.m. on December 6, 2013, concerning proposed water regulations, said "I don't care if they talk about Bisbee. My only care is that this issue gets out of the P&Z and on to the Board". B. The above requests cover items from October 1, 2013, through February 14, 2014, and continuing thereafter. C. I ask that this request not be "stalled." This request is based on the following: Planning Department employee Wilson, in an email to BOS Clerk Arlethe Rios, deputy county attorney Adam Ambrose, and Deputy County Administrator James Vlahovich at 8:28 a.m. on January 2, 2014, referring to a request by me to distribute my written "conflict of interest" analysis to the Planning & Zoning Commissioners, said "I've stalled for Adam's opinion". On May 5, the custodian of records answered, with copies to others:
. "I am compiling documents for these 2 ongoing requests. When they are ready for release I will contact you via email.
. "Any concerns you have regarding what the law requires should be directed to Mr. Rheinheimer or Mr. Hanson."
And later on May 5 I answered: "Thanks for your comments, Kim. I don't have concerns regarding what the law requires, I have concerns that you will not do what the law requires. If you follow advice from the County Attorney's Office, you won't have personal liability, but that doesn't mean that the County isn't heading for hot water. The chances of hot water increase as the divergence of CAO advice from the statutes increases. I'm hoping you will take that broader view of the situation. As far as your advising me to contact Rheinheimer or Hanson, you might have noticed that they were open cc's on my email to you. I await further production from you in accordance with the law."
I do wish that Hanson, Rheinheimer, and possibly others, would stop using the custodian of records in order to avoid discussing the issues. But my wish is, alas, fading message by message.