Damon Arthur reports:
The E.W. Scripps Co., parent company of the Record Searchlight, has joined other news organizations in filing a brief in a case before the U.S. Supreme Court that could have implications on the public’s right to access government records.
Lawyers for E.W. Scripps and several other news agencies filed the “friend of the court” brief Friday, said Los Angeles attorney Kelli Sager, who helped write the brief.
The case originated in Ontario, where Jeff Quon, a sergeant with the Ontario Police Department, sued the city of Ontario in 2002 after the police chief read text messages – some sexually explicit – that Quon sent to his wife, his girlfriend and another officer with his department-issued pager that could send text messages.
Citing the California Public Records Act and the California Constitution, Sager argued in her brief that the public’s right to review electronic government records would be limited if government agencies also did not have access to their employee’s communications.
“The government’s obligations to the public it serves transcends any privacy interest that might exist in communications sent on government time, using government equipment, which reveal inefficient, inappropriate and potentially abusive behavior by a government employee,” the brief says.
Read more on the Record Searchlight.