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Piecing it all together: Matt Blunt, Ed Martin and the firing of Scott Eckersley

Though the formal investigation into the record retention practices of the Blunt administration records has concluded, Scott Eckersley's defamation suit is yet to be resolved.

As first reported by Fired Up!, Eckersley, a former Blunt staff lawyer, was fired in September 2007. Eckersley says he was fired after raising concerns about whether Blunt’s office was properly applying the Sunshine Law to e-mails. But after Eckersley was fired, Governor Blunt, COS Ed Martin and others tried to convince the public that Eckersley's dismissal was the result of improper use of state resources, and had nothing to do with his warnings about the legal record retention requirements.

However, the publicly released emails from Ed Martin, Richard Aubuchon, Rich Chrismer and others show that requests for details on Eckersley's computer and phone use came after Fired Up! reported that Eckersley had been locked out of the Governor's office.

  • And in what may just be an unfortunate coincidence, Chief of Staff Ed Martin (1) reported losing emails and (2) asked the entire staff to change their official email account passwords the Friday after the firing was publicized, and just hours after receiving new Sunshine requests.

The following chart isn't a comprehensive list (there are literally tens of thousands of pages that we haven't looked at yet), but it does include the a number of emails that bring new context to the Eckersley firing and its subsequent justifications.

Time Event Direct Quote
Saturday, 8/11, 10:19 pm Ed Martin tells Eckersley that he is a "great part of our team." Martin: "Great work Scott. You are a great part of our team. I am not sure I have said "thank you" to you enough - I tease you a lot because I like you..."
Friday, 9/14, 4:42 pm Eckersley tells Brendan Kane that all electronic records should be retained. Eckersley: "Public record" (is) any record, whether written or ELECTRONICALLY STORED, retained by or of any public governmental body."
Wednesday, 9/19, 6:55 am Martin tells Dave Drebes of the Arch City Chronicle that Sunshine requests are "out of control." Martin: "Re emails, jo and others are out of control. We do save emails but not all. Just like we do save letters but not all."
Wednesday, 9/19, 12:37 pm Scott Eckersley tells Ed Martin that the Governor's office has a record retention policy, contrary to what was stated to the press. Eckersley: "Ed-I just want to make sure you are aware that we do have an official office policy on records retention (in the employee manual):"
Wednesday, 9/19, 2:50 pm Eckersley tells Henry Herschel that he doesn't "think [Rich] Chrismer gets it." Eckersley: "I don't know but gmb is going around saying we don't have an office policy--kane showed it to me in the pd--I don't think Chrismer gets it"
Wednesday, 9/19, 2:50 pm Chrismer emails that Eckersley should not send emails on record retention. Chrismer: "Henry, can you, in a very kind way, ask Scott to not send me emails about email retention?"
Monday, 9/24, 7:35 am Martin tells Chuck Pryor that the Governor's office locks have been changed "due to" Eckersley. Martin: "Due to eck, I had the locks changed. I think the rest of the staff don't need to know
Monday, 9/24, 9:56 am Martin tells the full staff that the locks have been changed, but says the "project has been in the works for a while." Martin: "By now you probably have noticed that the locks have been changed to the Governor's Office. This project has been in the works for a while but just happened over the weekend."
Monday, 9/24, 5:11 pm Fired Up! breaks the news of Eckersley's firing, including the fact that the locks had been changed by Martin to keep Eckersley out. Fired Up!: "More upheaval in the Matt Blunt legal shop, as Crazy Eddie Martin reportedly gave the old heave-ho to Deputy General Counsel Scott Eckersley over the weekend."
Monday, 9/24, 5:33 pm Rich Aubuchon initiates the search for Eckersley's long distance phone call history. Aubuchon: "Will you get me copies of long distance phone service calls made by Scott Eckersley over the past two months."
Tuesday, 9/25, 7:51 am Sara Vanderfeltz connects the dots between the Fired Up! story and Aubuchon's phone record request. Vanderfeltz: "And now I know why you want these - just read a story on Fired Up about Scott Eckersley.
Tuesday, 9/25, 10:00 am Aubuchon initiates the search for Eckersley's web browsing history. Aubuchon: "Would you call [Chris] Mertens and get a copy of all websites Scott Eckersley visited over the past month."
Tuesday, 9/25, 10:35 am Janice Sloca tells Aubuchon that Eckersley's computer has not previously been monitored. Sloca: "He will have to physically take his computer and see what they can get - since they were not monitoring his computer ... do you still want to do it?"
Tuesday, 9/25, 12:25 pm Eckersley's web browsing history is provided to Aubuchon by Mertens. Sloca is asked to review. Aubuchon: "Please review attached. Let me know what you find ..."
Tuesday, 9/25, 1:42 pm Aubuchon denies that Eckserly has been fired. Aubuchon: "He is just out of office..."
Thursday, 9/27, 4:35 pm Eckersley asks to be reassigned to working with Herschel. Eckersley: "After prayerful consideration, I think the best solution to this situation is to put me back to work with Henry. I am confident that I can make Henry happy--I promise you that I will make this work."
Friday, 9/28, 8:33 am Martin learns of a new Sunshine Request from Jo Mannies from Yolanda Murphy. Murphy: We have received a sunshine request from Jo for all your emails, excluding attachments, written and received since August 1, 2007.
Friday, 9/28, 10:14 am Henry Herschel calls for a "War Council." Herschel: "We are getting sunshine requests which I believe are in anticipation of litigation. We need to meet early next week for a war council."
Friday, 9/28, 1:34 pm Martin learns of a new Sunshine request from Jack Cardetti of the MDP. Murphy: "Cardetti has asked for all emails sent to or received by Ed Martin since September 1, 2006, and all emails sent to or received by Ken McClure since January 1, 2005."
Friday, 9/28, 4:41 pm Martin directs the entire staff to change their passwords on official emails accounts. Martin: "Change the password to your official e-mail account before close of business today."
Friday, 9/28, 4:43 pm Martin tells Trent Summers to change the password on his email account. Martin: "Change the password on your email account. For security reasons."
Friday, 9/28, 6:15 pm Martin reports that emails have disappeared from his account. Martin: "As I mentioned, I am extremely concerned that email have disappeared from my account starting today at about 2 or 3 pm. Very strange. I look forward to hearing exactly what happened."




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