City Marshal Brian Pope has notified The IND that he cannot comply with our public records request for his emails related to that peculiar Oct. 7 presser until his return from his vacay in Cabo, conveniently on the Monday following the primary.
DUI-defense specialist Charles K. Middleton, Pope's attorney in the public records matter, claims that the specific search terms included in our request will not, to Pope’s recollection, produce emails that are “responsive” to our inquiry, save a few replies to Pope’s media advisory concerning the presser sent using a third party mailing list application (Campaigner). Pope has endorsed Scott Police Chief Chad Leger for sheriff, so you can probably see where The IND is going with its public records request.
Middleton also “hypothesized” that if Pope possessed emails that matched the terms of our request, they would likely be sealed as part of potential criminal proceedings into sheriff candidate Mark Garber’s trip to Honduras (um, OK). We've included the letter at end of this post.
Of course, the suggestion here is that Pope’s leisure migration to Mexico makes him unable to access his email or “search his computer” prior to the primary on Oct. 24. Either Mexico doesn’t have the Internet — his trip hasn’t gone “undocumented,” thanks to Instagram — or the piña coladas at his timeshare resort command too much of his attention.
Most likely he was occupied posting a letter received, smearing Mark Garber, to his personal Facebook account on the Friday of his departure. So we can rule out computer illiteracy as the culprit for his delay.
For what it’s worth, Pope’s Cabo refuge does not protect him from our request. There are no vacation exemptions to timely satisfaction of a public records request, and Pope should have designated a custodian in his absence. He’s required by law to do so.