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Detroit policy considered e-mails public, city lawyer testifies

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  1. Freedom of Information
Key testimony about an electronic records policy has bolstered the case of two Detroit newspapers in their ongoing open-records lawsuit…

Key testimony about an electronic records policy has bolstered the case of two Detroit newspapers in their ongoing open-records lawsuit against the city, according to their attorneys.

The Detroit Free Press and the Detroit News are suing the city in an effort to get records related to the administration of former Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick and the affair he had with his onetime chief of staff, Christine Beatty.  The depositions have been going on for the last several days.

According to a Free Press report, the newspapers are trying to show text messages sent on city-issued pagers are public records. Before any information can be disclosed under the state open records law, it must first be considered a public record.

City of Detroit lawyer Shannon Holmes testified in a deposition Thursday that she believed a memo from Kilpatrick issued before this controversy arose, which stated that all e-mails and all electronic communications were public record, remained city policy.