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Published: Thursday, 7/24/2008

Top court to hear Seneca County courthouse case

BLADE COLUMBUS BUREAU

COLUMBUS - Both sides in the dispute between The Blade and Seneca County commissioners over e-mails related to the proposed destruction of the county's 1884 courthouse will make their cases before the Ohio Supreme Court on Sept. 16.

The court scheduled the oral arguments after an attempt to mediate the case failed.

The Blade sued to force the commissioners to release all

e-mails received, sent, or deleted since Jan. 1, 2006, including those related to the courthouse. The county provided some

e-mails at the newspaper's request. Then, after the paper sued, the county produced 700-plus pages of additional e-mails that it maintained were withheld due to an oversight.

The newspaper, however, maintains the commissioners deleted some records in violation of Ohio's public records law and is attempting to force the county to use computer forensics to recover them at its expense.

The Blade has reported that some of the released e-mails show the commissioners privately discussed drafts of plans to demolish and replace the courthouse weeks before its public approval of a plan at an Aug. 31, 2006, meeting



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