September 24 2021 03:30 pm

SNR and Sacramento Mayor Email Battle Continues

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SACRAMENTO —

Another day — another email release from the Sacramento mayor’s office.

This batch included a message from former ‘Think Big’ employee turned Kings executive Kunal Merchant calling councilman Steve Hansen a quote ‘tool.’

Meanwhile, the battle between Mayor Johnson and the Sacramento News & Review continues – even though the city released 61,000 other emails tied to the mayor and city staffers’ work for outside organizations on Tuesday.

The SN&R cover you’ll see on news stands tomorrow features a caricature of the mayor sweating while reading an issue of the paper.

The weekly raised the mayor’s ire by filing a public records request for 475 emails tied to lawsuits over the Johnson-led dissolution of the National Conference of Black Mayors and the creation of mirror group, the African-American Mayor’s Association.

Johnson has sued the newspaper and the city to stop a release of those messages citing attorney-client privilege.

While other media outlets in town got thousands of related emails from the city Tuesday, SN&R was denied access.

Lawyers on all sides were supposed to meet about the matter Wednesday afternoon in a phone conference, but that has been postponed.

“We have a protected right to do news gathering….to do our jobs as journalists. And when we’re intimated and harassed by attorneys telling us that we can’t request public records…that’s unacceptable. So that’s why we’re pursuing this,” said SN&R co-editor Nick Miller.

SN&R is also taking issue with the mayor’s use of private Gmail accounts for public business and the subsequent denial of access to those records.

The mayor maintains what his staff is shown doing in the now publicized messages is well within the scope of their jobs, standard practice for mayors nationally and in the best interest of Sacramento.

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