Work Emails Deemed “Privileged”
December 14, 2009 2 Comments
The U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia in the case, Convertino vs. U.S. Department of Justice, found that private emails belonging to a Dept. of Justice employee, were protected by the attorney-client privilege.
U.S. Attorney Jonathan Tukel, has won his fight to conceal e-mails he sent to his attorney over the government’s computers, contradicting a popular belief that employees have no expectation of privacy on work computers.
The party trying to get the e-mails is former federal prosecutor Richard Convertino. Convertino, who believes he was retaliated against for blowing the whistle on incompetence in the Bush administration’s war on terror, is trying to find out who leaked confidential information to the Detroit Free Press concerning an investigation into his conduct during a trial of suspected terrorists.
Convertino was the lead Assistant U.S. Attorney in the Detroit Sleeper Cell prosecutions of Karim Koubriti et al. The Justice Department, however, removed Mr. Convertino from his position and asked the courts to dismiss the convictions of these men, on the grounds that Convertino had failed to disclose evidence to which the defense was entitled.