|(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.
LBREPORT.com 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 ."
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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." [LBREPORT.com attaches the City's administrative regulation here for reference.]
In an April 10, 2017 email response to LBREPORT.com'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.
On April 19, City Prosecutor Haubert announced that he'll seek
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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