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Watchdog: Former Treasury Official Used University Email for Official Business

Tufts Professor Gilbert Metcalf used university address for Treasury dealings

Gilbert Metcalf / tufts.edu
• October 15, 2013 5:20 pm

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Another senior Obama administration official used a private email address to conduct government business, a conservative watchdog group says.

The Competitive Enterprise Institute filed a Freedom of Information Act request last week claiming that former Treasury deputy assistant secretary for environment and energy Gilbert Metcalf used his Tufts university email account to conduct government business.

Metcalf, a professor of economics at Tufts, was appointed to the Treasury Department in 2011. He left the department in 2012 and returned to the university.

"As it has with numerous other senior administration officials, CEI has established Mr. Metcalf’s use of such an account for Treasury-related correspondence, specifically an account he maintained on the system of his employer prior to joining Treasury, Tufts University," CEI wrote in the FOIA request. "It also appears that Treasury was not in fact maintaining and preserving these records as required by law and regulation, and similarly that Mr. Metcalf was not providing copies to Treasury."

Federal record laws require government employees to use their official email accounts to conduct business. If they use a private email account, employees must copy the email to their government account for preservation.

CEI’s FOIA request is part of a larger investigation by the organization into the administration’s interest in establishing a carbon tax. CEI is requesting all Treasury-related emails from Metcalf’s non-official accounts.

CEI senior fellow Chris Horner has caught several administration officials using non-government email accounts over the past two years, including former Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Lisa Jackson.

Metcalfe did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The Treasury Department’s public affairs office is closed during the ongoing government shutdown.