Hobbs says Reagan staffers deleted public records

“It has come to our attention that emails were deleted by the previous secretary and several executive staff prior to leaving office,” Hobbs wrote on Feb. 14.

 

By Ben Giles | Arizona Capitol Times

Former Secretary of State Michele Reagan and top staffers deleted public records before leaving office in January, according to the new Secretary of State, Katie Hobbs.

Hobbs, a Democrat, alerted state attorneys of the issue on Feb. 14. The discovery arose while Hobbs’ staff attempted to fulfill a public records request, she wrote in an email to Assistant Attorney General Todd Lawson and Beau Roysden, chief of the Appeals and Constitutional Litigation Division.

“It has come to our attention that emails were deleted by the previous secretary and several executive staff prior to leaving office,” Hobbs wrote on Feb. 14. “Not sure if this should go to criminal or civil division, but wanted to be sure to bring this to your attention. We are happy to provide further details that would be helpful.”

It’s a Class 4 felony for officials to knowingly destroy public records in Arizona.

Hobbs and staff were attempting to comply with a public records request filed by the Arizona Mirror, which sought electronic and written communication between Reagan, her elections director, Eric Spencer, and assistant secretary of state Lee Miller between October and November 2018.

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