Palin's e-mail records still not public one year after request

Public records requests made more than a year ago for Sarah Palin's e-mails still haven't been filled by the state, and the Alaska Democratic Party chairwoman alleges it's an attempt to bury the past.

"I think they're hiding something, I think this is a travesty of justice," state Democratic Party Chairwoman Patti Higgins said Wednesday. "The law says they have 10 days to do it."

Public records in Alaska are generally supposed to be provided within 10 days, although the state can extend the deadline for more complicated requests.

State officials say this is no cover-up, but rather a case of massive requests that have overwhelmed the state's resources. Assistant Attorney General David Jones said the 11 largest public-records requests from last year remain unfilled; most of them, he said, require the review of between 2,900 and 30,000 documents.

"Because of the large volume of records involved, we have pulled lawyers and paralegals from other assignments to assist with the effort. Unfortunately, it's a very time-consuming process," he said.

The lawyers review the documents to decide what to release to the public. Records can be withheld for reasons like an individual's privacy or for "deliberative process" -- an executive privilege generally limited to the governor and close advisers, covering internal deliberations before a decision is made.

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