Thursday, July 30, 2009

Nixon says his office did not withold e. coli information

At a couple of stops Wednesday, Gov. Jay Nixon said his staff did not withhold information about e. coli contamination at Lake of the Ozarks:

Nixon said as soon as his chief of staff, John Watson, learned of the May 26 test results on June 23, Watson ordered DNR Director Mark Templeton to release the report, which he did on June 26.

"I would be pretty confident that whatever level of my senior staff was talking to whatever department out there, that we would be telling them to move information out as soon as they were aware of it," Nixon told reporters in Lee's Summit. "The record reflects, pretty clearly, that.

In his article, Springfield News-Leader report Chad Livengood notes that Nixon has not explained why e-mails the newspaper obtained through a freedom of information request indicate Department of Natural Resource Deputy Director Joe Bindbeutel requested the report weeks earlier for a visit to the governor's office.

DNR officials have admitted withholding information about the contamination to avoid hurting tourism.

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