City Prosecutor Says This When Asked About Destruction Of City Hall Public Record Emails; Separately Announces He'll Seek Re-Election In 2018 is reader and advertiser supported. Support independent news in LB similar to the way people support NPR and PBS stations. We're not non-profit so it's not tax deductible but $49.95 (less than an annual dollar a week) helps keep us online.
(April 20, 2017) -- Asked by an audience member at the April 17 meeting of the Wrigley Area Neighborhood Alliance (WANA) about the destruction of City of Long Beach public record emails of two former LB city officials, despite a Long Beach ordinance enacted in 2006 to prevent destruction of city employee public records following their exit from city service, City Prosecutor Doug Haubert replied, "We have an inquiry in" and we'll have to see where that goes. reported on the issue after we requested emails (on an Airport related issue) in December 2016 from former Councilwoman Gerrie Schipske...and were told by the City's Record Coordinator office in February 2017 that "Schipske's electronic mailbox was deleted 30 days after her term ended." We brought this to the attention of the City Prosecutor's office for its handling and presumed it was an isolated matter.

We then learned in March 2017 (from a mention near the end of a PressTelegram story on Queen Mary maintenance) that the City officials had indicated that "all communication [with the city's now-retired economic and property development director] was deleted one month after he retired in August [2016]."

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Long Beach has a Municipal Code ordinance enacted in 2006 by the City Council to prevent the destruction of public records of elected city officials including the Mayor, Councilmembers, any other electeds and the heads of city departments unless the City follows certain specific procedures. (The ordinance was advanced by then-entering Councilwoman Schipske, who found 5th district Council records of her predecessor had been destroyed.)

LB Municipal Code Section 1.28.010 provides: "[title] Records survive transition of officials. [text] All documents prepared, received or maintained by the office of the Mayor, City Councilmembers, by any elected City official, and by the head of any City Department, are the property of the City. The originals of these documents shall be maintained consistent with State law and the records retention policies of the City as set forth in the City Charter, and by administrative regulation." [ attaches the City's administrative regulation here for reference.]



In an April 10, 2017 email response to's inquiries (Mar. 15, reiterated April 7), Assistant City Attorney Mike Mais stated:

[Ass't City Att'y Mais April 10 email] In 2014, the City of Long Beach migrated from the Lotus Notes system to MS365 (Outlook/Exchange) as its email solution. The City does not treat the MS365 email system as a records management system. Non-transitory items which are covered under the City's records retention policy require the user to transfer those documents from MS365 to either paper, or another online file store. During migration from the Lotus Notes system to MS365 (Outlook/Exchange) the City looked at industry best practices and standards for email storage of transitory (non-record) items, at which the City contracted with Microsoft for 30-days storage of email when someone leaves City service. If the City were to expand the window of email storage beyond 30 days, the City would incur additional on-going costs for the increase in storage. That said, the City will be reviewing its current policies in the near future to determine if changes are warranted or necessary.

The City follows all laws regarding access to public documents and takes its responsibilities to provide access to public records very seriously. The City has a number of policies in place with regards to records retention. Each individual employee is responsible for ensuring proper records are kept according to the City's policies. In addition, each department has an assigned individual who is responsible determining the records retention schedule of documents, in accordance with City policy. The City uses these policies to adhere to the Public Records Act, and provides thousands of pages of documents to requesting parties each year. Over the past year, for example, the City has responded to approximately 2,500 Public Records Requests.


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On April 19, City Prosecutor Haubert announced that he'll seek re-election in 2018. In a mass emailing, City Prosecutor Haubert cited [email text] "Long Beach's award-winning Gang Prevention Strategy [which] not only has taken some of the most dangerous gang leaders off the streets, but it also focuses on preventing youth from joining gangs. LA County Sheriff Jim McDonnell calls it 'the most effective and innovative gang prevention strategy in use today.' We have also become a national leader in ground-breaking court diversion programs. For example, the PATH program assists youthful offenders with job skills and employment, the first program of its kind in the country. Also, our Community Service Worker program -- named "Best Neighborhood Program" in America by Neighborhoods USA -- beautifies parks and public spaces while saving the city about $600,000 each year."

Mr. Haubert's email added that he's listened to residents and focused on making his office a successful model of community-oriented prosecution.




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