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In Mississippi, Gov't Text Messages Are Officially Public Records 33

New submitter Chris Elkins (3620071) writes "Text messages [by public officials about government business] are now officially considered public records. An investigative reporter fought for access to what he believed were public records. He took his fight to the state and won. Mississippi open government and transparency advocates view this unanimous commission opinion as precedent-setting for all government bodies and public officials in the state."
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In Mississippi, Gov't Text Messages Are Officially Public Records

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  • by CrimsonAvenger (580665) on Thursday April 17, 2014 @05:42PM (#46783607)
    I take it you're unaware that the Mayor of Tupelo (who was trying to conceal his text messages from the press) is a Democrat?
  • Not legally binding (Score:4, Informative)

    by CarsonChittom (2025388) on Thursday April 17, 2014 @11:41PM (#46785463) Homepage

    It's worth noting that this is an opinion by the Mississippi Ethics Commission [state.ms.us], and as such, while suggestive, is "advisory" and not legally binding.

    The main point of soliciting an opinion from the Ethics Commission is that a "public official" who acts upon such an advisory opinion is not subject to civil or criminal liability as long as the official "follows the direction of such opinion and acts in accordance therewith unless a court of competent jurisdiction, after a full hearing, shall judicially declare that such opinion is manifestly wrong and without any substantial support." (Mississippi Code of 1972, Annotated, section 25-4-17(i)(i) [state.ms.us])

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