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Arkansas governor must keep e-mails

May 24, 2002 

A judge has ordered Gov. Mike Huckabee's office to preserve e-mails and other records related to a lawsuit filed by a talk-show host.

On May 22, U.S. District Judge Bill Wilson also ordered the Arkansas Educational Television Network to retain records related to the case brought by Roby Brock.

Brock sued to keep is AETN business talk show on the air.

He sought the court order to ensure no records are erased by the governor's office, even as a matter of routine computer operations.

Brock won a federal court order on April 24 that kept his monthly "Talk Business on AETN" on the air after the Arkansas Educational Television Network said it would cancel the show. The move came after Brock spoke earlier in April at a Young Democrats rally and called for Republican Huckabee's defeat in November. Brock also works as a Democratic political consultant.

Members of the Huckabee administration contacted AETN regarding Brock's comments, and two members contacted some of Brock's sponsors.

Huckabee communications director Rex Nelson sent an e-mail to AETN's executive director after Brock's comments were published, asking for consistent enforcement of the network's political content rules in an election year.

In the federal lawsuit, Brock claims his right to free speech was violated, and argues the administration interfered with his contract with AETN.

Also on May 22, Wilson gave permission to Brock's attorney to take depositions from Huckabee and 12 others in the governor's office.

By The Associated Press

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