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Davidson, Cornelius Not Releasing E-Mail Lists

Davidson and Cornelius officials are not complying with the Charlotte's Observer's FOIA requests for the towns' e-mail subscriber lists. David Boraks of DavidsonNews.net (who also is a part-time employee of WFAE) has the story here. "Our position is that email addresses are like Social Security numbers - private," said Cornelius Mayor Jeff Tarte. Davidson Mayor John Woods doesn't sound quite as defiant, but obviously doesn't want to give up the list of e-mail addresses. "We took a long hard look at that, and although the letter of the law states that we were required to do that, we decided to delay that until public opinion had a moment to rest on the editor at The Observer. They have gone completely silent since then. They have not withdrawn their request." Woods added: "We're not going to release that unless we are legally forced to, we can assure you of that." Observer editor Rick Thames noted: "We're not in the habit of asking for a public record and being turned down." Thames says the paper wants the e-mails for journalistic reasons. Not everyone is convinced. Here are two stories by WFAE's Julie Rose that provide a good overview of the brouhaha: Observer taps county, city e-mail distribution lists Observer changes plans for e-mails