January 10, 2014
NORFOLK, Va. (AP) - An animal rights group is suing the city of Norfolk in a dispute over text messages.
People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals claims the city is violating public record disclosure laws by failing to preserve and release text messages used for transacting public business. The group says it sought text messages to and from five city council members but was told the city does not keep retain public officials' text messages. PETA says Virginia law requires the preservation of such messages.
The ACLU filed PETA's lawsuit in Norfolk Circuit Court. ACLU of Virginia legal director Rebecca Glenberg said Thursday that as more public business is conducted by text message, public access to these records is vital.
The city attorney's office did not immediately respond to a voice mail message.