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Ben Wish offers public records law insight in Boston Globe article

In a Boston Globe article addressing whether text messages of City of Boston officials should be made available to the public, Ben Wish indicated that the substance of communications, not the medium by which they are shared, determines whether they need to be released.

Mr. Wish, a partner at the firm, said, “Whether something’s a public record doesn’t depend on the medium of communication, it depends on the substance and whether it falls into any of the public records exemptions.”

The article addressed the City of Boston’s response to the Globe’s public records request for text messages to and from Mayor Michelle Wu and other city officials for a one-week period in January.

The city did not release any texts, claiming that the mayor does not conduct official city business via text messages and that text messages are only temporarily retained as “transitory” communications.

Mr. Wish told the publication that if “an official with the city of Boston is talking about public business that doesn’t fall into an exemption of public records law, it doesn’t matter if it’s written on a napkin, a text message, or a formal memo, it’s a public record.”