SALEM, Ore. (CN) – Oracle software sued Oregon Gov. Kate Brown, claiming she refused to release emails from the personal account of former Gov. John Kitzhaber, in violation of public records laws.
The Nov. 12 lawsuit in Marion County Court claims Brown withheld hundreds of emails from Kitzhaber’s account, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Kitzhaber resigned in February in an influence-peddling scandal involving him and his fiancée, Cylvia Hayes.
Oracle America claims Brown promised to hand over the emails, but backed out after Kitzhaber threatened to sue her if she made the emails public. Brown used that threat as an excuse to wash her hands of Oracle’s request, the company says in its complaint.
Instead, Brown decided to let Kitzhaber decide which emails to make public, Oracle claims.
“In effect, Governor Brown has outsourced her duty to review and produce public records to a former politician who has a personal interest in keeping documents out of the public eye,” the complaint states.
Brown’s spokeswoman Kristen Grainger said in a statement that “Oracle is just wasting the public’s money and time by filing yet another lawsuit.”
Oracle sued five advisers to Kitzhaber in March, claiming the former governor’s campaign dropped the Cover Oregon website that Oracle had designed in favor of the federal website for political reasons. A Multnomah County judge dismissed that case in June, finding that the staffers’ advice to the governor was protected free speech.
Oracle seeks declaratory judge that Brown violated the Oregon Public Records Law, and wants to see the emails.
It is represented by Milo Petranovich with Lane Powell in Portland.
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