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Texas prosecutor faces contempt charge over deleted e-mails

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  1. Court Access
In a hearing today, U. S. District Judge Kenneth Hoyt will determine whether to hold Chuck Rosenthal, one of Texas’…

In a hearing today, U. S. District Judge Kenneth Hoyt will determine whether to hold Chuck Rosenthal, one of Texas’ leading prosecutors, in contempt of court for the deletion of over 2,500 subpoenaed e-mail messages.

The alleged e-mail messages were subpoenaed in a civil rights lawsuit against the sheriff’s office. Rosenthal was embroiled in the dispute when the plaintiff’s attorney, Lloyd Kelley, suspected that the district attorney did not conduct a proper investigation of the sheriff’s office.  Kelley requested the e-mail messages to reveal what the district attorney was saying about the case. While Rosenthal complied by turning over hundreds of messages, he deleted 2,500.

Some of those e-mail messages revealed a romantic relationship between the married district attorney and his secretary. They were released to the media after the judge determined that they were not under a protective order.