Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson and his attorneys have less than two weeks to determine which of 470 emails they think should be withheld from the public as part of the lawsuit Johnson filed to block the public release of emails between him and his private lawyer regarding his 2013 takeover of the National Conference of Black Mayors.
The city on Thursday provided the 470 emails to Johnson’s attorneys after identifying them as potentially involving attorney-client privilege. Those emails were excluded from a batch of more than 6,100 pages of correspondence and 16 documents obtained last week by The Sacramento Bee through the Public Records Act.
Johnson’s lawyers were given 14 days to assemble a “privilege log,” or a detailed list of every email out of the 470 the lawyers believe to be privileged under attorney-client protections. The log will state who sent and received the messages, the subject matter discussed and why they should be protected.
Johnson’s lawyers are required to simultaneously provide the log to the city and the Sacramento News & Review, both of whom are named as defendants in the suit. That list will be a public document that The Bee can review to determine if it believes any of the emails should be made public, according to attorneys for Johnson and the News & Review.
In May, The Bee and the News & Review filed separate public records requests seeking all communications from the mayor and his staff involving NCBM. The Bee was awaiting a determination from the City Attorney’s Office on whether some of the emails between Johnson and his private attorney would be excluded from review on the grounds of attorney-client privilege.