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Massachusetts Liberal

Observations on politics, the media and life in Massachusetts and beyond from the left side of the road.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Stretching credibility

Secretary of State Bill Galvin was trying to show he was hip when he used Janet Jackson as the metaphor to describe his opinion of Boston city attorney Bill Sinnott's explanation in the case of the missing e-mail.
“This is sort of a Janet Jackson response - having a malfunction,” Galvin told the Herald. “What Mr. Sinnott said concerns me more than the fact pattern here because he’s saying there’s a system that allows for the destruction of many public records in the form of e-mail.”
But since I am heading to my dotage (hey so is Galvin, but what the heck), I prefer the fanciful story of how Nixon aide Rosemary Wood accidentally erased 18 1/2 minutes of an incriminating audio tape. I'm not sure if Wood's alleged move ever made it into a workout video, but it was quite a stretch in terms of credibility.

Just like Sinnott's "the public records law is confusing and this was a glitch" alibi.

The worst possible nightmare has beset the Menino administration one week before the preliminary election: The Case of the Missing E-Mail.

An administration that has cruised through four previous elections -- and was only breaking a mild sweat so far on the one -- now has a bona fide problem on its hands. Galvin ordered the seizure of Michael Kineavy's computer and software to track down the e-mail Kineavy apparently deleted in disregard of state law.

This is a double loser for Hizzoner -- either a good computer forensic expert will find the stuff on Kineavy's computer -- because we all know that delete and erase are two different things. Or the expert will find that Kineavy did indeed take the extra steps to wipe the material away forever.

Unanswered will be why the city did not automatically back the stuff up as required by state law -- and considered good business practice by most reputable companies.

And we have a delicious twist in this saga with the realization that it may not only involve crossing the line between constituent service into politics. It seems Kineavy was the sole administration contact during Dianne Wilkerson's alleged effort to secure a liquor license for a Roxbury nightclub.

And the feds subpoenaed Kineavy's e-mail as part of their investigation.

This is just starting to get very interesting.

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Blogger Chris Rich said...

Nothing is ever deleted. It gets compressed and shoved in some remote corner of a drive that a good forensics tech can pull up with minimal fuss.

It is an interesting dynamic of how a key Mumbles henchman managed to leverage all manner of potential unseemliness.

Yes it will be an entertaining mess and with luck it will bring the lopsided developer worship aspect of the Meninofication era to a glorious close so he can catch up on the doings in his old Hyde Park haunts and let someone else do the Hizzoner thing for a change.

September 15, 2009 10:05 AM  

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