Gazette files Open Records Request; were the documents shredded?

On April 2, the Big Bend Gazette filed an Open Records Request with the City of Alpine seeking documents related to the numerous payroll advances and tuition reimbursements made to employees.

In a memo first made public  this week by Big Bend Sentinel reporter Alberto Halpern, it appears some or all of those documents requested may have been shredded and destroyed.

According to a memo dated April 6 from City Attorney John Armstrong to Mayor Avi Rangra and the Alpine City Council, “Amid allegations of document shredding by the Finance Director at City Hall, occuring yesterday, April 5, 2013, the Mayor took pre-emptive action and directed the Chief of Police to:

Secure the Records Storage vault in the Old City Hall;
Change all locks on the exterior of the City Hall;
Secure access to the offices of the City Manager, Finance Director, and the file storage room in the City Hall;
And to monitor access to said offices, and to monitor entry and exit to and from said offices.”

It is not yet known if the Open Records Request from the Gazette precipitated the alleged destruction of any documents or if the documents the Gazette is seeking have been destroyed.

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