Why is Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn’s Public Relations Employee Using a Private Email Account for Government Business?

By Haydee Oropesa

So on January 13, 2016 I telephonically contacted Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn’s office in order to obtain his government issued email.  I wanted to email Buckhorn inquiring about allegations attorney Barry Cohen was making about “lying cops” in court and other matters.  A lady (did not get a chance to ask her name as she immediately transferred the call to someone else)  answered the phone and when I asked for Buckhorn’s government issued email, she asked me why I wanted it.  I said, uh, I don’t need a reason, it’s public records.  She told me, please hold.


Ashley Bauman then grabbed the call and when I asked her to please provide me with Buckhorn’s public email she said, “why do you want it?”  Oh, c’mon, is Buckhorn’s email top secret government classified material?  I became slightly perturbed and reminded Bauman, who claimed she was the public relations person for the mayor and I would have to go through her to get to him, that I did not need to give a reason for requesting the mayor’s email and that it was public records.  Bauman then said I needed to email her my public records request per office protocol.  Here is where it gets interesting.  I had never met nor knew of Ashley Bauman prior to this telephonic exchange.  I was quite perplexed when she gave me her private email in order to submit a public records request.  I went ahead and emailed Bauman and she then from her private email forwarded my request to the mayor and other office employees.  Mayor Buckhorn Public Relations Employee Using Private Email.

I then received a responsive email to my request from Jim Crew.  Crew copied Bauman using her government email account.  Why did Bauman not use that account to begin with?


How could Ashley Bauman, who makes $110,000 a year as a public affairs director and who boasts having served as a senior communications advisor to congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz, not understand that she should not use her private email account to conduct government related communications?  Good grief Charlie Brown.


Ms. Bauman have you not been following the serious issues surrounding a member of your own party and private email servers?  How about Noah Pransky’s recent reports also related to serious issues regarding public records in Hillsborough? “Hillsborough to improve lobbying, Sunshine oversight”  How about taxpayers having to foot the bill because Rick Scott and some members of his staff did not understand that government communications have to be held out in the sunshine?  Did you follow that story Ms. Gatekeeper to the mayor?  Pay attention folks – this is your government at work. Transparency?  Has Ms. Bauman given her private email to any other persons and received communications related to government business there?




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