A federal judge has ruled that Prescott Mayor Marlin Kuykendall or his associates intentionally destroyed key e-mail evidence in a lawsuit filed by a municipal activist who was fired after launching a public campaign against bullying by city officials.
U.S. District Judge James Teilborg concluded in a Feb. 18 order that defendants in the civil complaint withheld dozens of e-mails for more than a year after they had been requested, then deleted the messages. Furthermore, Teilborg wrote, “Mayor Kuykendall acted willfully and in bad faith, and thus, with a culpable state of mind.”
The judge also found that Prescott officials routinely purged electronic messages about government business, adding, “Such non-compliance with Arizona state law and misclassification of emails is, at best, grossly negligent and, at worst, willful.”
Kuykendall did not respond to an interview request.