Wolf Signals, LLC

Ohio Public Records Paper

Surviving an Open Records Attack on a Public Administrator's E-mail

A Proposed Solution That Allows a Practicing Administrator the Ability to Preserve E-mail in Compliance with Ohio Open Records Laws

Ohio Public Records law requires that a public administrator maintain copies of his or her e-mail messages when those messages are used in the transaction of public business.  In many cases, the administrator cannot or should not rely on others to perform this duty.  To this end, I have written a paper describing the problems that public administrators face when considering how to preserve e-mail messages.    I have also provided, free of charge, a computer utility, a program, to help those using the Thunderbird e-mail client with this task.

Other Ohio contractors might want to read the paper.  In it they will learn that they are very likely subject to Ohio Open Records duties.

This paper was written in partial fulfillment of the requirements of the Cleveland Marshall College of Law Spring, 2008 Ohio Local Government Seminar taught by Professor Harold Babbit.

I would be pleased to participate in a debate as to if this paper presents a viable solution to an open records challenge.  What might be added?  What is unnecessary?  I only demand that the discourse be based not in committee rhetoric, but instead with the practice of the actual administrator.  It is he or she who will be responsible.  For this reason I have sponsored a Yahoo group, a listserv or mailing list, to provide an open discussion on open records.  When you join and post a message to this list, it is repeated out to all members.

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Click here for a PDF version of the paper

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Click here for a copy of the Windows utility

This is only the user interface, the remaining programming will follow.

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(To be added later) Click here to join the Ohio Open Records mailing list pertaining to this issue.

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Steve Wolf -- steve@wolfssignals.com -- March 25, 2008

Also:  see http://www.wolfslaw.com