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A Newport resident’s perspective on former mayor’s email actions | Jennifer Hopkins

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Letter in response to article titled: Email of former Newport mayor uncovered through FOIA raises ethical, legal concerns

If one thinks about the facts presented in this article, one would agree that former mayor Paul Monette’s actions in purging his emails were both appropriate and sensible. Some things should not be released to an incoming administration without the appropriate background information or context supplied. Mr Monette preserved his emails in a word document and in the cloud before deleting them from his city email account. He did not destroy the documents; he moved and safeguarded them. These documents should still exist and remain available to the public upon request.

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Additionally, your article assumes these emails were transferred after the election – but is this fact or fiction? On March 8, 2023, Mr Monette used his personal email to inform the City Manager of his actions. He did not indicate when he had purged his city account, only that he had.

This situation highlights a possible failure on the part of the city to safeguard it’s records. The city provides ‘official’ newportvermont.org email addresses to many city officials and employees. Therefore, shouldn’t our city routinely archive (backup) these email accounts? Are there any control and/or access protocols in place? Are they effective? These are the questions we should be asking.

It is my opinion; this is making a mountain out of a molehill. It is time to stop this past history blame game and focus, as our current mayor is always suggesting, upon the future.

Jennifer Hopkins, resident and voter in Newport City.

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1 Comment

  1. One would think in today’s political world, any correspondence conducted with a government-provided email address, especially those in top-level administration, would be immediately archived and uneditable. I worked for a company heavily involved with various Local, State, and Federal government agencies. We were a private company working under government contracts. Every piece of email that I sent was automatically archived, intact, when I hit send. All that is involved is a simple macro attached to the send button that sends an uneditable copy into the archives. It keeps everyone honest.

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