- Associated Press - Thursday, July 3, 2014

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - A federal judge has blocked the release of emails to and from an Iowa sheriff serving on a federal board tasked with building a high-speed broadband network for emergency responders.

Judge James Gritzner on Thursday issued an order declaring the emails in Story County Sheriff Paul Fitzgerald’s county email files federal records that may not be released by the county without U.S. government permission.

Fitzgerald was appointed in 2012 to serve on the board of FirstNet, created by Congress to improve upon weaknesses found in emergency networks in the 2001 terrorist attacks.

The news outlet Politico learned Fitzgerald used county email to discuss FirstNet business and sought copies through an open records request.

Gritzner sided with the Department of Justice, which opposed the release, arguing the emails included sensitive information.