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Release: Emails from Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan’s administration during #BaltimoreUprising

Earlier this year, CityExplainer obtained and released a large batch of emails from among officials in Baltimore City government from the period of Baltimore’s civil unrest in late April and early May. Baltimore City charged us $375 for the documents; we crowdsourced the funds on the Internet in about an hour. Our document release helped break more stories.larry_hogan

Today, we’re releasing a batch of more than 3,000 emails obtained from Gov. Larry Hogan’s administration through a Maryland Public Information Act request. The emails were from the time period of April 25-May 5, from the civil unrest in Baltimore. We asked for emails from the governor and his top administration officials who referenced the civil unrest in Baltimore.

We narrowed the scope of our request during a discussion with legal counsel in the governor’s office, after we were told that our original request asking for all emails from people in the governor’s administration would total at least 16,000 documents and cost at least $850 produce.

The governor’s office gave us this batch of emails without charge — and we’re, of course, glad we didn’t have to crowdsource or sue. Unfortunately, there is not much insight in these emails as to how our top state government officials conducted state business, because the governor’s office claimed executive privilege and certain Maryland Public Information Act exemptions in withholding other emails from public view.

We’re not even sure there is more than one email in this entire batch that was sent by Gov. Hogan. Same goes with the batch of Baltimore city emails and the city’s mayor. If you spot anymore in the batch, please drop a note in the comments and let us know.

Here’s the paragraph from Gov. Hogan’s office that explains the denial of certain emails:

mpia-govhogan-denial

The emails we did obtain are broken up into 57 PDF documents. We partnered with Daric Snyder, of BaltimoreRex.com, who did incredible work in preparing the thousands of documents for public use, by converting the PDFs to a searchable format and extracting the text for easier analysis. (Be sure to subscribe to his daily Baltimore news emails.)

You can access the full trove of emails here, via DropBox. If you use and share these documents, please be kind and give credit to CityExplainer.com and BaltimoreRex.com as the sources.

We reviewed the emails and created a list of what we thought were interesting communications. Here’s our list:

  • File 15 – tally of complaints to the governor’s office (chart), showing “displeasure” with Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake.
  • File 15 – “Ravens have called the city with no response”
  • File 16 – Red Cross not accepting donations to support Baltimore unrest due to “the political slant of events occurring in Baltimore.”
  • File 17 – Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake “deflecting” questions on Meet The Press with Chuck Todd — Erin Montgomery, the governor’s press person, reviews SRB’s performance on MTP.
  • File 18 – Sparrows Point as a poster child of middle class jobs.
  • File 20 – “potentially violent demonstrations” email; overworked officers with insufficient gear; CVS asking for protection;
  • File 21 – MEMA emergency procurement credit card not yet activated on April 27 as riots unfolded.
  • File 21 — CVS requests for help
  • File 21 – Juvenile Justice Center asks for police help on night of April 27
  • File 23 – Comptroller’s office challenges credit card spending of $21K on MREs (military “meal ready to eat” packages)
  • File 23 – “This administration is about to embark on a massive effort to overhaul our criminal justice system..” 
  • File 38 – Matthew A. Clark, director of communications in the press office for Gov. Hogan, talks about division and needing to work with SRB
  • File 39 – report on emails to governor and negative sentiment on SRB – “good stuff” (talking about citizens’ approval of governor’s performance.)
  • File 39 – An exchange with HuffPost reporter, where Clark corrects erroneous reporting. 
  • File 46 – Aaron Zitner, WSJ National Politics Editor, had invited Gov. Hogan to be his guest at the White House Correspondents Association dinner. But Gov. Hogan had to back out due to the riots. 
  • File 54 – MSP discussion on lawlessness and social media and enforcement. shared a grad school paper. 
  • File 55 — O’Malley made a “ridiculous” decision in moving an education program to the state labor department.

If you find an interesting set of documents, please let us know by citing its location in the comment section below.

More to come. Stay tuned.

 

 

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