Last week, Jay Inslee admitted that he “occasionally” uses his personal email account for official state business during a press availability. His explanation was, to say the least, vague.
Here is his full statement:
“I have a personal email account and I have a government email account, and the vast majority of anything that involves any state business is on our official account.
I probably have sent emails on occasion from my personal account to staffers, probably, that will be available on the state archives and they’ll be subject to public disclosure, as they should be, because when I communicate with my staffer it’s on their governmental account. So it’s available for public disclosure with consistency with the public disclosure laws.
Notice Inslee’s use of evasive language, including his use of “probably” two times in one sentence. KTTH’s David Boze broke down Inslee’s statement and provided some interesting analysis. Boze,
“Let’s review his statement more closely:
“The vast majority of anything that involves any state business is on our official account,” said Inslee.
Translation: There are things that are government business that are on my personal account, which wouldn’t automatically be archived. Now he’s going to try and clarify.
“I probably have sent emails on occasion from my personal account to staffers, probably,” Inslee said.
Probably? That’s kind of vague. Maybe he did, maybe he didn’t.
“That will be available on the state archives and they’ll be subject to public disclosure,” Inslee said.
Subject to public disclosure isn’t the same as being publicly disclosed. Subject to public disclosure means I have to file a public disclosure request.” …
“When I communicate with my staffers, it’s on their governmental account so it’s available for public disclosure.”
A great follow-up question to that would have been: Does that mean none of your staffers have a personal account? Because if you sometimes do government business from your personal account, are you sure that other staffers don’t also use a personal account? What if you and your staffers were both using your personal accounts in order to conduct state business? Doesn’t it seem like that would be possible?”
You can read Boze’s full analysis here.