Ex-Anaheim mayor refuses to publicly disclose emails amid FBI corruption investigation
As the Orange County Sheriff’s Office continues a wide-ranging investigation of Anaheim Mayor Tom Tait, a key piece of evidence is disappearing: copies of Mayor Tait’s electronic mail messages.
A key piece of evidence has disappeared: copies of Mayor Tait’s electronic mail messages.
In an email conversation with Tait on June 18, 2009, Tait said he would meet with a “concerned and high-ranking” FBI official about the Mayor’s “frivolous claims”.
On Wednesday, Tait’s office released correspondence between him and FBI officials that appears to show the ex-mayor is under investigation for his campaign fundraising.
But Tait’s email correspondence, which were filed in court, are incomplete and his office did not have a complete accounting until Thursday.
The revelation is raising questions about whether Tait’s records are being protected by the court.
Tait’s response: He says the email correspondence is protected by the First Amendment, which is generally interpreted to generally prohibit the release of government records or information without a court order.
Even so, Tait on Thursday said the email correspondence doesn’t reflect “a lot of the same issues we talked about in June,” and wouldn’t be released until the case is resolved.
“This is just the tip of the iceberg and the first couple of pages that he has turned over to the government,” he said.
The emails were released so that “people in the public can see how the government is treating him,” Tait said.
Tait’s office says all the emails are private, and are not subject to disclosure under the Freedom of Information Act.
The emails were not obtained by the City Clerk or released through the Public Records Act. They were obtained through a court-ordered subpoena that led the local U.S. district attorney’s office to review the records.
The emails were part of the local investigation into Tait’s fundraising, which have come under fire because of potential misuse of public funds by his campaign staff and his fundraising firm.
Tait’s office claims