Cost of re-creating records destroyed by ex-DEP employee unknown

Cost of re-creating records destroyed by ex-DEP employee unknown by Judy Harrison, February 13, 2013, BDN
AUGUSTA, Maine — Re-creating the records destroyed by a former employee at the Maine Department of Environmental Protection will take hundreds of hours and the cost may never be known, a DEP spokeswoman said Wednesday. Jon P. Andrews, 58, of Augusta, a former hazardous waste cleanup specialist with the Maine Department of Environmental Protection admitted Monday in Kennebec County Superior Court to tossing out documents related to more than 250 oil spills to which he had responded or had been reported to him. “We have no exact estimate of the amount of time and money it has taken or is going to take to re-create these records,” Samantha DePoy-Warren said. “We are missing some really critical information.” … Andrews pleaded guilty to tampering with public records, Assistant Attorney General Leanne Robbin said Tuesday. He destroyed his notes and other documents related to 265 oil spills his last day on the job before retiring. The records covered a 2½ -year period from 2010 through March 6, 2012, the prosecutor said. Andrews was seen dragging a 55-gallon bag out of the office his last day on the job, Robbin said. It was not until people began looking for records that the connection between Andrews dragging the bag and the missing documents was made by other employees, she said. … “The missing records make it extremely difficult for DEP to provide information to landowners, creditors and responsible parties with an interest in the property or resources impacted by the spills,” Robbin said in an email. “Andrews was the sole custodian of the records.” … Tampering with public records is a Class D crime, punishable by up to a year in prison and a $2,000 fine. … “These aren’t simply DEP documents — they are the public’s records.” [Emphasis added]

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