Office of the Vermont Attorney General

Attorney General Donovan Challenges Virginia Law Firm That Seeks to Invade Vermonters Privacy

October 12, 2017

CONTACT: TJ Donovan, Attorney General, 802 595 8679

Today the Vermont Attorney General’s Office filed motions to stay and appeal the Energy and Environment Legal Institute (EELI) matter. EELI seeks to depose and gain access to personal emails and other personal communications of former Attorney General Bill Sorrell, and now expands their request and seeks to obtain personal emails from three current and former Assistant Attorneys General. It is the firm position of the Vermont Attorney General’s Office that state employees must follow “The Public Records Act,” but the Act does not strip those in public service of their right to privacy.

The Public Records Act requires public agencies to produce public records, and all state agencies including The Attorney General’s Office produce records every day.

The Act also recognizes that all Vermonters have privacy rights.

Vermonters who work as public servants don’t check those rights at the door. From school board members, to town clerks, to state officials, people have privacy rights. Plaintiffs have taken the position that anyone can sue any Vermonter who ever worked for a public agency and invade their privacy.

The Vermont Attorney General’s Office disagrees.

Attorney General TJ Donovan said: “This is a precedent setting case. Until the Vermont Supreme Court rules or the Legislature acts, I will continue to protect public servants’ privacy- from the Governor to a select board member. I look forward to litigating this matter”

Last modified: March 12, 2018