Wednesday, January 19, 2011

What is mightier than the sword?

The pen, you say? Wrong! Philpott's keyboard.

At least at the Sheriff's Department. At least by Undersheriff Zinke. Why, you ask?

On September 16, 2010, I emailed Undersheriff Zinke for information about CrimeStoppers for McHenry County. I received no reply. Some time after that, he told a reporter for the Northwest Herald that he had never heard from me. That amused me, since I had emailed him on September 16 and was keenly aware that he had not replied.

When I requested information about CrimeStoppers via FOIA earlier this month, I threw in a request for a copy of my September 16th email to Zinke. In the FOIA response I was asked if I wanted a FOIA response to the question I had asked in my September 16th email (so I knew it had been received).

And so I wrote back, indicating that I didn't want a FOIA "response"; instead, I wanted the email itself. And today I received it.

The excuse? It went into Zinke's spam box because my email address was apparently not on Zinke's "safe sender's list". So I guess I am an "unsafe" sender. I hope Homeland Security doesn't hear about this. The County's IT Department located my email. I was told that Zinke, like many (County email system) users, "deletes messages in his junk email box on a regular basis." I'm sure he does, unlike many County users who examine the junk email box first to see if there might be legitimate emails there.

Did he see my return email address and decide just to leave it in the junk box? Didn't he ask IT for a copy of it, after I wrote publicly that I had emailed him on September 16 and had not received a reply? Obviously, he did not, since I never received a reply.

It should be a County and Sheriff's Department requirement that employees examine the contents of the spam file before they delete them.

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