Emails on private devices, FOIA issue goes back to court

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — The Illinois Freedom of Information Act is clear that government officials’ emails about work are public records. Public information advocates argue that emails sent from personal accounts or cellphones should be treated the same way. Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel says no, but the Chicago Tribune claims such emails are public records in a lawsuit filed last month. The situation’s been repeated several times this year, beginning with former U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and continuing this summer with Gov. Bruce Rauner and the University of Illinois. The Illinois attorney general and its appellate court have ruled that public business on private emails must be disclosed. FOIA lawyer Matt Topic says it’s “crystal clear.” Attorney Julie Tappendorf, who represents cities, says the messages must pertain to “transaction” of business.