Chandler Mayor Boyd Dunn said he took no offense, but the religious e-mail he got from a Gilbert Fire Department employee violated that town’s e-mail policy.
On Jan. 2, Gilbert Fire Prevention receptionist Judy Strege wrote a “Dear Mayor” e-mail to Dunn from her town office and containing her town phone number.
It read, in part, “Please feel free to contact me if you would like questions answered about Jehovah’s Witnesses, their ministry in the community or their beliefs.”
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E-mails sent to city officials at city offices are public records.
Dunn said Strege approached him in a parking lot on New Year’s Day when he was talking to a television crew about the city smoking ordinance. In the e-mail, Strege, a Chandler resident, apologized for not recognizing him as the mayor and wrote, “I appreciate your taking time to listen to me and take the Awake and Watchtower magazines from me.”
“She was very friendly,” Dunn said. “I didn’t take offense, and I hope she doesn’t get in trouble.”
Strege, 54, said she didn’t know the e-mail to the mayor was a public record or that it violated town policy. “I hope I don’t lose my job over it,” she said, adding she has been active in Jehovah’s Witnesses for 40 years.
Gilbert Personnel Director Ann Moeding-Evans declined to discuss the e-mail, saying, “It is a sensitive issue.”
However, Gilbert’s e-mail policy says the town’s system should be used only “to facilitate official business . . . and is not a private communication medium.”