Judge rules Prescott officials destroyed key e-mail evidence in legal case

Evidence1By Dennis Wagner | The Republic | azcentral.com

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.

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