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Published November 22, 2013, 01:55 PM

Stenehjem: University system broke open records law

FARGO, N.D. (AP) — Attorney General Wayne Stenehjem says the North Dakota University System was at fault in an open records dispute over deleted emails of North Dakota State University President Dean Bresciani.

FARGO, N.D. (AP) — Attorney General Wayne Stenehjem says the North Dakota University System was at fault in an open records dispute over deleted emails of North Dakota State University President Dean Bresciani.

The state Legislative Council had requested to review Bresciani's emails in the midst of a controversy involving former Chancellor Hamid Shirvani, whose contract was bought out by the state Board of Higher Education.

Stenehjem says the University System located and made a copy of more than 43,000 of the deleted emails, but failed to provide them to the Legislative Council in a timely fashion. Stenehjem says that's a violation of open records law.

Bresciani denied accusations that the emails were intentionally deleted and said it was part of an auto-purge function. Stenehjem says there's no way of resolving that issue.

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