(WASHINGTONTIMES) — Top Environmental Protection Agency officials used computer instant messages to try to circumvent open-records laws, according to a new lawsuit filed late last week by a researcher who has been demanding the agency comply with the law.

Christopher C. Horner, the researcher who earlier uncovered that EPA officials were using private email addresses to conduct official business, said that in going over some of those earlier records he discovered the agency was using instant messages, too. He now is suing to get a look at those records, which he said EPA has refused to release.

“It seems we have uncovered yet another major transparency scandal in that either EPA is destroying instant messages against the law, or it is withholding them in defiance of its legal obligations to produce,” Mr. Horner said.

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