There has been some discussion online about why former Mike Easley aide Dan Gerlach was using a private email account as part of his contacts related to finding former first lady Mary Easley a job at N.C. State.
The reason is straightforward, Gerlach said in an interview, Andy Curliss reports.
He had been teaching at State as an adjunct member of the faculty — and used his private account often in that role. That kept student emails and the like separate from his state account, he said.
So when the Easley matter came up, he somehow contacted the political science chair, Jim Svara.
The first email in the chain is from Svara back to Gerlach.
Gerlach said that was natural because it would have been the email account that Svara always used to contact Gerlach.
More after the jump.
The communications then continued from there.
Gerlach did not deny that he might have used his private account for state business, but said it would have been rare and under unusual circumstances. He recalled a time when a News & Observer reporter was trying to get some information, and the private account was used because the state one was down.
Gerlach said he knows the law is clear on this subject anyway. That state business is state business, no matter how it is conducted.
As part of its reporting on the Easley hiring, the N&O made voluminous requests for records, mostly from N.C. State officials, including McQueen Campbell.
The emails that have surfaced had not been included in any responses to the newspaper.