JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. – Here is a link to the complaint in which a former attorney for Gov. Matt Blunt has sued Blunt and his top aides, claiming they ordered staff attorneys to delete potentially damaging emails, despite attorneys’ protests that the emails are public records. See complaint.
Scott Eckersley also claims that Ed Martin, Blunt’s chief of staff, told staffers “to make sure they deleted their email in the both the inbox and trash files to ensure they did not have to be turned over to the press or public.”
Blunt’s aides also ordered the state’s backup computer tapes to be destroyed and talked about communicating through Blackberry text messages that are not captured on email systems, the suit states.
Martin resigned and Herschel moved to another job, amid criticism of the administration’s handling of emails.
Eckersley was fired as deputy counsel on Sept. 28. He claims he was fired after confrontations with Herschel and Martin about the emails. He accuses the administration of defaming him.
Blunt’s office released a statement saying the lawsuit did not have merit and was political.
Blunt’s aides have alleged that Eckersley was fired for poor performance, for conducting legal work for his father’s health care company on state time, using drugs and using his state computer to access a sex site.