Editorial: Government emails are public records. Deleting them too quickly is not OK

Los Angeles Times Editorial Board March 28 2022  

Los Angeles Times  

A fundamental principle of a free and open society is that citizens have a right to know what’s going on inside their government. A crucial way Californians exercise this right is with the state’s Public Records Act, which allows people to see email correspondence, contracts and other documents held by local and state officials. 

It’s how, early in the pandemic, journalists were able to reveal the details of California’s scramble to obtain medical masks, including the collapse of a nearly $800-million deal with a politically connected vendor and the decision to secretly wire nearly half a billion dollars to a company that had been in business for just three days — only to quickly call off the deal and claw back the money. 

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