Adam Elmahrek at Voice of OC broke this story on Friday; Anaheim Official Orders Employees to Purge Records. The story leaves me wondering what’s next? These folks must be getting pretty nervous that people are poking around to see what they’re up to.
From Adam’s post:
An Anaheim official sent an email this week to employees in the city’s Planning Department ordering them to purge records deemed “old” or “unnecessary” and threatening “disciplinary action” if they did not do so.
The email was sent Wednesday by Hannah Jones, a Planning Department staffer, after Voice of OC filed a request under the California Public Records Act for records of communications to and from members of the City Council.
From Ms. Jones’ email my emphasis added:
The city has been getting daily public records requests, and on several occasions, old unnecessary or inappropriate documents have been found in City files. We have been fortunate in that we have not had old or unnecessary documents turn up as a result of these requests. When these documents do turn up, it can very easy portray the actions of city staff, applications, contractors and decision makers out of context and damage our credibility. Because of the increased scrutiny of these records, division managers or supervisors, from time to time, will be reviewing your records, both hard copy and electronic. If old unnecessary document are found on computers or in offices/work areas, then disciplinary action will be taken.
After seeing the email, officials with the Orange County Employees Association, which represents Anaheim employees, sent their own email telling city employees not to destroy any records until the district attorney’s office determines whether the request is illegal.
“Essentially what the directive could be doing is asking our members to violate state laws, so we need to make sure they are protected,” said OCEA spokeswoman Jennifer Muir.
Read the complete Voice of OC story here: Anaheim Official Orders Employees to Purge Records