Public records lawsuit filed over Appalachian State professor's emails

Watauga Democrat: A Watauga GOP leader requested emails of a professor,  who is active in Democratic politics, in October 2013. The university says the dealy is a result of the size of the request, which covers more than 19,000 emails.  

Watauga Republican Party Chairwoman Anne-Marie Yates filed a records request in October 2013 for all email correspondence of Prof. Stella Anderson, who teaches in the business school. Anderson is a former chairwoman of the Watauga County Board of Elections and a Democrat. Some Watauga conservatives have accused Anderson of using her university email account to engage in political activity. 

The university initially asked Yates to pare down her request, which she resubmitted in January of this year. The lawsuit says that a small amount of information related to the request was released by the university, but that it was in an unreadable format. 

In a statement to the newspaper, the university said the 11 month delay was a result of the size of the request. A spokesman indicated that more than 19,000 records were identified and that each must be reviewed individually to determine if its release is prohibited under state and federal privacy laws.  

Read the Watauga Democrat‘s coverage here