Watchdog group wants DOE probe for possible public records violation

The push follows a Washington Post story earlier this month that showed Jonathan Silver, the former head of the energy stimulus loan program, advised staffers not to use personal email addresses for office business because they could get subpoenaed. Days later, Solyndra went bankrupt.

Silver said in a July House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform subcommittee on Regulatory Affairs, Stimulus Oversight and Government Spending hearing that he sometimes used a personal email account for long messages that his BlackBerry had trouble processing.

Silver said in a statement earlier this month he "intended to advise my DOE colleagues to use their official email for official purposes and personal email for personal purposes. It was never my intention to avoid the requirements of the Federal Records Act."

DOE Spokesman Damien LaVera told The Hill on Tuesday that, "In the rare cases where the Department has found that some employees may have used their personal email accounts to discuss official business, the Department has voluntarily provided them when requested by congressional investigators."

— This post was updated at 3:55 p.m.