MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Gov. Mark Dayton doesn’t use a state government email account.
He only uses his personal AOL account for public, political and personal business.READ MORE: Fatal Crash Closes Highway 7 In Shorewood
“It’s been simpler for 15 years to just be able to do it straightforward,” Dayton said. “I pay the cost and there’s no question about whether I’m using government property for personal or political purpose. And for 15 years no one has raised a question about it.”
He says he’s used a personal email account only as a U.S. Senator and as a governor.
It is legal, and he says it’s secure — for now.
“Now that it’s all over the press, it’s probably more exposed. But you know, I mean, we have thousands of attempts to penetrate our government systems every day,” Dayton said.
The governor says he has added two malware programs for added security, but public exposure of his email habits now will make it even more difficult.READ MORE: Sanneh Foundation Offers Free Basketball Camps To Get Girls Of Color In The Game
“I take the sanctity of the communications that I have with people very, very seriously,” he said.
State lawmakers use taxpayer-funded computers and email systems. But unlike the governor, they are not required to make any their emails public.
“It’s pretty incredible that they think that they should be able to question our practices when theirs are so much more out of line with what people have a right to expect,” Dayton said.
He says his government emails are public data, even if he sends or receives them on his personal account. And Dayton says he has made them public many times, which is what he says legislators should also do.
Dayton does have some concerns about all of the publicity surrounding his emails, especially in light of the email controversy surrounding Hilary Clinton.MORE NEWS: AG Ellison Seeks Comments From Community Leading Into Derek Chauvin's Sentencing
But until he is forced to do it, Dayton is not intending to change the way he does business.