file photo by Boyd Loving
N.J. has no policy on officials’ use of personal emails nearly a year after call for a ban
MARCH 11, 2015, 11:32 PM LAST UPDATED: WEDNESDAY, MARCH 11, 2015, 11:45 PM
BY MELISSA HAYES
STATE HO– USE BUREAU |
Nearly a year before revelations that former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton used her personal email account for official business, the Christie administration was chastised because members of its own staff communicated through private emails. And that criticism came not from Governor Christie’s political foes, but from lawyers hired by his team to investigate the burgeoning George Washington Bridge lane-closing scandal.
The lawyers called for the administration to impose an immediate ban on the practice. After all, the most notorious email to emerge from the GWB scandal — the “Time for some traffic problems in Fort Lee” message that a deputy chief of staff sent to a Port Authority official — was written on her private email account.
Yet just shy of 12 months after the lawyers’ recommendation, which was contained in the so-called Mastro report on the lane closings, the state has yet to change its written policies on the use of such email accounts. In fact, the current policy on “electronic mail/messages” is silent when it comes to public workers doing state business on private email.