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Menino Adviser Free Of Charges For Deleting E-Mails

A Boston city hall staffer close to the mayor will not face charges for systematically deleting his e-mail in violation of the state's public record laws.

Mayor Thomas M. Menino was in the middle of his campaign for a fifth term in office when a media inquiry revealed that one of his closest assistants, Michael Kineavy, was expunging e-mail from his desktop computer. Menino's challengers jumped on the missing e-mail messages as possible evidence of corruption.

Attorney General Martha Coakley has investigated and found Kineavey did not know he was doing anything wrong.

"Employees at City Hall were led to believe that their records would be retained on a backup system," Coakley told reporters. She said City Hall policy was "confusing" and that staffers felt they were "encouraged" to delete their e-mails.

Coakley said this is likely a problem at other public offices around the state.

"There are probably a lot of folks who unwittingly are not complying with the law," she said.

Kineavey took an unpaid leave of absence for several months, because the scandal was affecting the mayoral campaign. He is now back at his job as chief of policy and planning for Menino.

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This program aired on July 29, 2010. The audio for this program is not available.

Bianca Vázquez Toness Twitter Reporter
Bianca Vázquez Toness was formerly a report for WBUR.

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