Not Just Corrupt, Also Stupid

You know, it’s one thing to think that somehow you can magically erase all your incriminating e-mails (and their back-ups, and the ones that ended up in people’s In-Boxes) but it’s just a whole other level of idiocy to contact the recipients of your e-mails and tell them to delete VIA E-MAIL!

Politician Facing Investigation Tries To Destroy His Emails; Assistant ‘Helps Out’ By Emailing Order To Other Staffers

by Tim Cushing, Tech Dirt

Fri, Feb 13th 2015 1:33p

There are multiple ways to handle a super-sensitive situation like this one. The following is none of them.

Far too many politicians and legislators aren’t happy with the fact that their emails are subject to public records requests. Some attempt to dodge this layer of accountability by using personal email accounts to handle official business. Oregon governor John Kitzhaber is one such politician.

Unfortunately for Kitzhaber and many others just like him, public records laws anticipate this endaround. In many states, personal email accounts are also FOIA-able if the emails discuss official (read: public) business. Kitzhaber, however, believed he could outsmart outbludgeon the system.

Rumors of possible influence peddling led to this public records request. Kitzhaber’s last-minute attempt to set fire to his email legacy doesn’t exactly plant a halo over his head, seeing as it came one day before the Oregon DOJ opened up an investigation into these allegations. But he might have gotten away with it if only his own executive assistant hadn’t completely sabotaged the coverup.

There has been no word as to whether Kitzhaber required emergency surgery to remove his face from his palm after his assistant informed him that she had EMAILED orders to delete his EMAILS to EMAIL accounts that were subject to open records requests.

The lesson here is: if you want to run a successful coverup, you need to make sure you’ve got more than one person on board with your plan. And you need to make sure that one person won’t cheerfully pitch in with “help” that only hurts.

Oh, what did he do?

Oregon governor John Kitzhaber to resign over ‘surreal’ corruption scandal

by Jessica Glenza, The Guardian

Among other allegations, Kitzhaber is accused of steering contracts to his fiancee’s environmental consulting firm. His fiancee, Cylvia Hayes, is accused of using public office to further private interests.

A controversial figure, Hayes has also come under scrutiny for having married an 18-year-old Ethiopian man in 1997, for $5,000 and to help him secure residency in the US, and for participating in the same year in a plan to buy land in a remote part of Washington state, for the purpose of growing marijuana.

In the past two weeks, the Oregonian learned that close associates of Kitzhaber may have attempted to “make jobs” for Hayes. The paper called for the governor’s resignation. Adding to an ongoing Oregon government ethics commission investigation, the state attorney general, Ellen Rosenblum, launched a criminal investigation into Kitzhaber’s administration and Hayes’s role within it.

It’s not amazing that politicians can be bought, what is amazing is how incredibly inexpensive they are.

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