A new policy directing Texas Forensic Science Commission members to destroy all old emails relating to the commission is being criticized by a state Senator, who says the move takes the panel “in the wrong direction.”
The Fort Worth Star-Telegram obtained an email from the commission’s staff coordinator asking all members to “delete all commission correspondence” as a matter of policy. New TFSC chairman John Bradley suggested at a November 10 hearing that he may seek to keep some of the commission’s work confidential, drawing sharp questions from lawmakers.
Sen. Juan “Chuy” Hinojosa said he disagreed with the email policy, asserting that commission members are independently appointed and should decide what email they want to keep. Keith Elkins, the director of the Freedom of Information Foundation of Texas, also questioned the policy.
“If you have a policy to routinely destroy information, that doesn’t sound transparent to me,” Elkins said. “It just strikes me as being very unusual, especially in light of all the controversy surrounding that agency recently.”
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. (Fort Worth Star-Telegram, 11/23/09)
Bradley was appointed in October by Gov. Rick Perry to take over as the commission’s chairman, just two days before the panel was scheduled to hear testimony from an independent arson expert on forensic evidence used in the case of Cameron Todd Willingham, who was executed in 2004.