Attorney: Miller working to meet borough request

JUNEAU -- Joe Miller was working to comply with a request to turn over records from his tenure with the Fairbanks North Star Borough, his attorney said late this week.

John Tiemessen said Miller routinely copied for himself e-mails related to his work as a part-time borough attorney.

Tiemessen said on Thursday that Miller is searching through thousands of e-mails and printing out those pertinent to his work. He said he isn't sure how long the task would take.

The borough said Miller's inbox was emptied when he resigned in 2009, and borough attorney Rene Broker has said that about 15,000 e-mails had been recovered. It wasn't clear if there were others.

Tiemessen said he assumes the borough has on its servers whatever e-mails Miller has.

"What happened was, he left a job, he was leaving a computer behind, he wiped the e-mails off his local hard drive only," he said. "Nothing was done to the server."

Personnel records requested by media outlets and ordered released by a judge in October, during the throes of the hotly contested U.S. Senate race, showed that Miller had been disciplined in 2008 after admitting to improperly using three government computers, then cleaning the caches to cover up the actions.

Miller has maintained the incident was not related to his leaving. In doling out the punishment in 2008, Broker called the incident "isolated" and noted that Miller had accepted responsibility.

Records released by the borough indicate an investigation into the e-mails dating at least to October. Miller's attorneys have questioned the timing of the questions, given that Miller was in the midst of the Senate race as the GOP nominee at the time. Another of his attorneys, Thomas Van Flein, has said Miller followed e-mail policy and printed copies of e-mails that the borough also had.

An assistant borough attorney, Jill Dolan, has disputed the claim that Miller followed policy and said that if Miller didn't comply with the borough's request, it would consider options such as taking information it has to an investigating agency or the state bar association.

The borough set a Dec. 6 deadline for Miller to provide "any e-mails or any other documents he has in his possession relating to FNSB business."

The last available correspondence between the two sides, released to The Associated Press on Thursday as part of a public records request, is dated Dec. 10.

In that exchange, Van Flein asked Dolan to identify what the borough was looking for and said Miller will "search whatever records he has."

"Mr. Miller reported to me that there was a substantial amount of e-mails produced as part of some litigation that the Borough should have as well," he wrote. Dolan said the borough wants "any and all records, including books, papers, files, accounts, writings, including drafts and memorializations of conversations, and other items, regardless of format or physical characteristics, that were developed or received by Mr. Miller in his capacity as an assistant borough attorney."