Timing of Harris Co. email memo questioned

January 18, 2008 3:58:58 AM PST
The Harris County attorney's office is questioning the legality and timing of a memo which demands all sheriff's deputy emails get deleted after two weeks and the policy may affect deputies' work. The memo issued by Sheriff Tommy Thomas came out shortly after the email scandal involving District Attorney Chuck Rosenthal. For deputies, they wonder if it is too late to retrieve deleted emails that are important to ongoing cases. The sheriff's office says the policy change is simply because they ran out of server space.

"Storage is at a critical point according to our LAN manager," said Captain John Martin with the Harris County Sheriff's Department. "The other point that we've been saying is we're not going to put off making an important change because some people may question the timing."

The attorney's office is not only working with the sheriff's office, but also the entire county on developing a legal email retention policy.

Rosenthal still refuses to resign after party leaders asked him to step down. The state attorney general's office started its investigation after racially and sexually insensitive emails were discovered on his account, as well as intimate emails between he and his secretary and campaign work on his government computer. Rosenthal decided not to run for re-election.

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