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Release of Mayor Johnson's Emails Delayed -- Perhaps Permanently

Bob Moffitt / Capital Public Radio

Attorney Thomas Burke speaks with reporters after a hearing regarding emails of Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson. Burke represents the Sacramento News and Review. The paper's Public Records Act request for those emails has been delayed.

Bob Moffitt / Capital Public Radio

Some of Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson's emails regarding the bankruptcy of the National Conference of Black Mayors will not be turned over to reporters on Monday as planned.

A judge has delayed a Public Information Act request by the Sacramento News and Review for emails because the correspondence might contain privileged information.

Peter Haviland is an attorney for the group's bankruptcy trustee and says there are two open court cases involving Johnson and the organization.

"Where there's active, ongoing litigation still happening, then you have to preserve the attorney-client privilege and communications about that active litigation," he says.

An attorney for the News and Review says it's possible the mayor has lost the right to keep some of the emails private, depending on how many people have seen them.

Though the city is listed as a respondent, City Attorney James Sanchez says it was his office that alerted the trustee attorneys to 100 emails that are on the city's server.

"There was an issue here that we would have to have the court to resolve or we were going to have to release those on Monday," he says.

Attorneys for the conference of mayors and the city have until July 9 to submit a plan to log the emails and identify which have privileged correspondence.