Kansas AG: Private emails by state officials not public

Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt (KSN File Photo)

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) – Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt says state officials aren’t required to publicly disclose emails sent through private accounts even if the messages involve public business.

Schmidt said in a legal opinion Tuesday that individual state employees don’t meet the legal definition of a government agency or government-funded entity under the Kansas Open Records Act.

The act requires agencies or government-funded entities to make their records available to the public, though it contains dozens of exceptions.

The Republican attorney general issued the opinion at the request of Kansas Senate Democratic Leader Anthony Hensley of Topeka.

Hensley sought the opinion following disclosures that Budget Director Shawn Sullivan used a private email account at least twice in December to circulate details about budget proposals to a group that included two lobbyists.

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