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Seattle Times letters to the editor

September 23, 2014 at 12:05 PM

Privacy of a public employee’s cellphone argument used to protect prosecuting attorney

Donna Grethen / Op Art

In his guest column, Pierce County Prosecutor Mark Lindquist’s disingenuous ploy for government worker privacy masks his self-interest [“Why the privacy of a public employee’s cellphone matters,” Opinion, Sept. 15].

In a recent decision from the Court of Appeals Division II in the Nissen case, he admits to more than two and a half hours of work-related calls and at least 16 work-related texts during just three specific days on his personal phone, and less than 10 minutes per month of phone usage — and no text messages — on his county-provided one. He quickly deleted those text messages and did not take steps to maintain them at the agency so his personal device was not at issue.

The phone carrier says it still has the texts and will make them available, but Lindquist objects. Division II says the trial court should look at the records and decide what content is public. Other citizens and criminals with no public information undergo in camera review of their private information. It troubles us that we have an elected prosecutor expending vast amounts of public energy and resources to keep us all from seeing what he is really saying.

Joan K. Mell and Michele Earl-Hubbard are attorneys who represent Detective Glenda Nissen in a lawsuit related to Public Records Act requests for Lindquist’s work-related  phone records

Comments | More in cellphones | Topics: cellphones, Court of Appeals, Joan K. Mell

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