Eleven Romney staffers purchased their state-owned hard drives and all Romney administration emails were erased from a server, The Boston Globe reports. Romney administration officials had the remaining computers in the governor’s office replaced before his successor took over the office.
As a result, current governor Deval Patrick has no electronic record of any Romney administration emails, and has been unable to satisfy requests for records from the four year period from 2002-2006 that Romney served as governor.
Romney spokeswoman Andrea Saul said that Romney’s aides did nothing wrong. “In leaving office, the governor’s staff complied with the law and longtime executive branch practice,’’ she said. “Some employees exercised the option to purchase computer equipment when they left. They did so openly with personal checks.’’
Saul went on to accuse Gov. Patrick, a Democrat and close Obama ally, of “doing the Obama campaign’s dirty work.”
Massachussets Secretary of State William F. Galvin said that state law holds that while the governor doesn’t have to release emails to the public, they must still be preserved and handed over to the state archivist.
“They have an obligation as a public official to preserve their records,’’ Galvin said. “Electronic records are held to the same standard as paper records. There’s no question. They’re not in some lesser standard.’’