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Tallahassee Ethics Board Takes Up Public Record Policy

A hand holds a white iphone in a business environment
Photo by OOI JIET on Unsplash

Tallahassee officials are working to do a better job at preserving communication that could be considered public record. After the Tallahassee Democrat sued the city for failing to hand over text messages officials received on their personal phones, Treasurer James Cooke says the city has changed its policy to ensure future messages will be available to the public.

“We have long had commission policies on public records and records retention. There were two policies one of the things this does is combines those two into one so that there’s a central place for both of those components. Also it’s been some time since we updated the policy. So this update includes specific references to electronic communications and things of that nature so that our policy is keeping up with current means of communication and public records creation,” Cooke says

The change is now in place. Meanwhile, the Tallahassee Independent Ethics board is scheduled to discuss the new policy at its meeting Tuesday at 4:00 p.m. in city hall.

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Regan McCarthy is the Assistant News Director for WFSU Public Media. Before coming to Tallahassee, Regan graduated with honors from Indiana University’s Ernie Pyle School of Journalism. She worked for several years for NPR member station WFIU in Bloomington, Ind., where she covered local and state government and produced feature and community stories.

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