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What will happen to El Paso city representatives personal emails related to ballpark is stil undecided

By Maria Garcia, MariaG@kvia.com.
Published On: Aug 06 2013 06:10:06 PM CDT
Updated On: Jan 15 2014 10:51:26 PM CST

KVIA

El Paso City Council file photo

EL PASO, Texas -

It's unclear when and if the City of El Paso is going to release controversial emails of former and current city representatives that dealt with the baseball stadium.

The emails were requested by ABC-7 and other government watchdogs through the Open Records Law.

The emails dealt with City business but were sent from personal devices. City officials have said City attorneys, at the time of the request, asked City representatives to turn over emails that dealt with public business, even if they were sent from personal devices. The City has no way of checking if the elected officials turn in all of the pertinent emails from their personal computers or phones.

After the City refused to release the emails, the Attorney General filed an opinion stating the documents were public record, even though they were on personal devices.

Then the City sued Attorney General Greg Abbott and refused to release the emails.

Two weeks ago, City Council discussed the issue after a request from ABC-7. City Council voted to give City Attorney Sylvia Firth time to present a resolution that complied with the new state law and also addressed the current lawsuit.

City Council discussed the issue on Tuesday during executive session and voted to give Firth two more weeks to come up with the resolution. The decision disappointed some, who hoped council would decide on Tuesday to release the emails.

"We were hoping that our government would once again be the type of government that our citizens can respect and honor and trust. But until those records that have been requested are then released, we're not going to have that day." said David Ochoa, a speaker who addressed Council on Tuesday.

City officials only said the lawsuit was still pending and the city was in contact with the attorneys of the people who requested the emails.

"We're working on the request that we had made to the city attorney and we're hoping to have a resolution soon but we are working in that direction," said Mayor Oscar Leeser.

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