One minute later, Frye sent another email query to Garnero: "Are personal emails on blackberry currently routed through the state server or through AT&T or whomever provides the phone service?"
Garnero responded that all emails sent to state-owned blackberries would come into computers maintained by the state.
"How about when I send personal email? Do they only travel over the phone contractor line?" Frye emailed Garnero two days later.
Garnero wrote in reply that she checked with the state technology chief, and learned that "state email goes through [state servers]; personal email doesn't (like a Yahoo account, it goes directly over the internet into the device."
Five days later, Frye forwarded that exchange to Palin aides Bailey and Perry. The next day, she forwarded it to Palin and Palin's husband, Todd, again to their private email addresses.
A McCain-Palin campaign staffer who would only discuss the matter with the promise of anonymity said Palin did not direct Frye to make the inquiries. Frye likely forwarded her conversations to the governor because "She thought maybe Palin needed it as an FYI or something," he said.
The campaign disagreed that the Frye emails suggested any wrongdoing by the governor or her aides. "I am not sure how you can draw that conclusion when the e-mails so clearly demonstrate the exact opposite," said McCain-Palin spokesman Taylor Griffin. "These e-mails demonstrate that the discussion is not about protecting state business from public view... Most Americans understand that even state employees deserve a little privacy in their personal life."
Emails have been used as important evidence as details of the Troopergate scandal have unfolded in the public eye. Palin used emails between herself and aides to argue that Walt Monegan, whose firing is at the center of the scandal, had a "rogue mentality" and refused to work within the administration's wishes. Recently, Monegan has said he has other emails that prove otherwise.
To McLeod, an Alaska ethics advocate and Palin critic, all of the governor's private emails should be turned over to the state for safekeeping. "Citizens have a right to know the inner workings of their government," said McLeod.