At least 114 deleted text messages between Basalt town clerk and mayoral candidate

From Aspen Public Radio:  The Town of Basalt has released key information in a recent lawsuit and open records request.

After weeks of legal wrangling over deleted text messages, Basalt’s town attorney has revealed details for 114 messages sent between Town Clerk Pam Schilling and then-mayoral candidate Jacque Whitsitt.

“We have no idea what was being said…between someone who’s running for office and someone who’s responsible for the election,” said Basalt resident Mary Kenyon Wednesday.

She requested those deleted messages in an open records request filed April 18. All of the messages are from March 15 and April 12, the weeks before and after the town’s first municipal mail-in election, which ended Tues., April 5.

On Wednesday, Kenyon received cryptic information about the messages, provided by Basalt Town Attorney Tom Smith and Verizon Wireless. It’s not possible to see what was written in the messages because they were individually deleted by both Jacque Whitsitt and Pam Schilling.

“It confirms to me that Jacque was very involved in the workings of this election,” continued Kenyon on Wednesday, “…and [Jacque] deleting the text message, that act, leads me to believe that there was something not good going on in these text messages.”

Kenyon filed six open records requests related to the election, largely because she heard rumors about ballots being handled improperly. She’s concerned Whitsitt was too involved with how the election was carried out. Whitsitt, the incumbent, ended up retaining the mayor’s post by a very slim margin.

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