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City Officials Release Revealing Email Exchanges

Austin City Hall
Callie Hernandez for KUT
Austin City Hall

City officials released thousands of documents Friday under an Open Records Request, including unflattering email exchanges between Mayor Lee Leffingwell and city council members.

The emails expose what goes on behind the scenes and what city council members say and think about city staff members and residents.

According to the Austin American-Statesman, one exchange between Mayor Leffingwell and City Council Member Mike Martinez called City Manager Marc Ott and Assistant City Manager Michael McDonald “jokes.”

Emails from other council members use phrases like “crazy, two-faced, and not someone I listen to” when discussing environmental activist Robin Rather and “ugggh” in response to listening to speakers.

Mayor Leffingwell also sent multiple emails commenting on Austin’s Fire Chief Rhoda Mae Kerr and the way she is handling the fire department.

The emails were released in response to an open records request by the Austin American-Statesman and the Austin Bulldog, an investigative website.

The Statesman also reported on a pending request for the same documents by Travis County Attorney David Escamilla, who is investigating whether city council members violated state open meetings laws by conducting one-on-one meetings.

Here are PDF images of some of the emails, courtesy the Statesman:

Emails from Council Member Sheryl Cole Emails from Mayor Lee Leffingwell Emails from Mayor Pro Tem Mike Martinez Emails from Council Member Laura Morrison Emails from Council Member Chris Riley Emails from Council Member Randi Shade Emails from Council Member Bill Spelman

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