Citing a continuing investigation, Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake's administration denied last week a Baltimore Sun public information request to inspect the city's emails with former Chief Technology Officer Rico J. Singleton.
Singleton resigned in February after an audit in New York detailed alleged ethical violations that occurred while he worked in state government there, including negotiating a job for his girlfriend and soliciting a job for himself with a software vendor that was awarded a major contract.
The Sun requested "emails and BlackBerry PIN messages" between Singleton and city employees, contractors or elected officials on or after Feb. 28, his date of resignation. Written communication from government workers and officials generally must be disclosed under Maryland law.
But Mark J. Dimenna, a special assistant solicitor, declined to produce any information, pointing to an exception that permits withholding documents when their release would interfere with an investigation. In an email to The Sun, he wrote that the records being sought "directly relate to an ongoing investigation, and disclosing these records will prejudice the investigation." He also noted that by denying access, he was not necessarily confirming that such emails exist.