Des Moines seeks state probe of deleted city records over senior center


By Jack Mayne

Des Moines City Manager Michael Matthias has asked Washington state investigators to probe charges that a city employee purposely deleted city records regarding the change in management of the city senior center.

Introduced by Mayor Matt Pina at the opening of the City Council session Thursday night (June 14), Matthias read a prepared statement that said that a city employee is to be investigated for deleting records from the city’s official website regarding a Council approved two year pilot program to Wesley Homes, a private company in the city.

Matthias said no one would speak further until there is a completed investigation by the Washington State Auditor’s office.

Here’s video of Matthias’ statement:

Deleted and restored
The Council meeting was opened by a statement from Matthias regarding comments made “at or after” the June 7 meeting where it approved a two-year pilot program to replace the retiring head of Senior Services with a contract for management by Wesley Homes.

At the June 7 meeting, Matthias said “public concerns were voiced about the lack of transparency over recent administrative and Council decisions.

“The community has made it clear to me they wanted more communication and input and so I am providing this update on a relevant issue tonight,” he said.

The city manager said to assist the change of management at the center, the city sought the contract with Wesley and it began “compiling electronic records that were on the city’s server to assist in the review.”

Compromise probe
“Yesterday, it was confirmed that a city employee was acting in a way to compromise that investigation, specifically deleting large numbers of files from the city’s server,” said Matthias. “These actions put the city at great risk.”

But the records were “fully recovered and have been made available to our third party investigator,” the Washington State Auditor.

“I have contacted the state auditor’s office as required by state law and they will be completing their own investigation,” Matthias said. “I can provide updates to Council as needed, however at this point the matter is being investigated by outside parties and it is appropriate that they be allowed to complete their investigation without further delay or interference.

“In the spirit of transparency, this is all myself, staff and City Council can say about this at this time,” he said.

With that, the Council went on with its routine business.



Comments

3 Responses to “Des Moines seeks state probe of deleted city records over senior center”
  1. Julie Ann Jackson says:

    The city employee should be terminated immediately. A deliberate act to conceal information. Thank you city manager for your honesty.

    • Landmarque Resident says:

      He’s not honest. Do you know how many public records they conceal? destroy? or just lie about? Don’t believe the hype until you have all the facts. Innocent until proven guilty.

      • Carri Litowitz says:

        Innocent until proven guilty is correct but that should also apply to your allegations about the city concealing, destroying or lying about records also. Do you have proof that the city has done that? Just wondering…..;)

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