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Nevada paper to get six of governor's 104 e-mail messages

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Nevada Governor Jim Gibbons is legally obligated to turn over just six of the 104 e-mails requested by the Reno Gazette-Journal, a judge…

Nevada Governor Jim Gibbons is legally obligated to turn over just six of the 104 e-mails requested by the Reno Gazette-Journal, a judge decided on Wednesday.

According to a Gazette-Journal report, after reading the requested messages, Carson City Judge James Russell concluded that 98 of the 104 were confidential. Twenty-four of those were deemed "personal correspondence," 32 were "transitory" messages describing "routine business activities," and 42 were either transitory or privileged as decision-making documents, the Gazette-Journal reported.

The judge also nixed the newspaper’s request for a "log" of the remaining e-mail messages.  

An index of the e-mail messages and their topics would have let the newspaper independently evaluate whether the records contained public information, said Beryl Love, executive editor of the Gazette-Journal.  But "Russell found such a log was unnecessary because of the ‘limited number of e-mails and the brevity of most of the transmissions’," the Gazette-Journal noted.

"If they want to say something is exempt from public records, that the information is privileged, they have to say what it is so we can say, ‘Yeah, you’re right," Love argued.  "We should be able to review that."

The newspaper sued in October after the governor’s lawyer denied its request for the documents, which included six months’ worth of messages sent to 10 people from Gibbons’ state e-mail account, the paper said.

Gibbons has 10 days to appeal the ruling, the newspaper said. 

Scott Glogovac of Reno-based Burton, Bartlett & Glogovac is representing the Gazette-Journal.