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A whistleblower, with direct knowledge of the destruction and removal of financial documents from a Fiscal Services file room located at Baltimore Public Schools last year, sat down with WBFF-TV Project Baltimore to discuss the event. The interview aired on Wednesday night.
The Whistleblower said that two high-ranking district employees came in on a weekend last fall to remove the financial documents.
The event took place after a school board directive put a hold on all further records destruction for executive directors and above, which immediately followed a report in August 2018 that 2,600 financial disclosure statements had been destroyed in advance of, and during, a high profile procurement audit.
Those financial disclosure records were also destroyed while a now-Gunpowder Gazette reporter had been actively requesting the records.
Following the destruction of the financial disclosure forms, in September 2018, the school board mandated a “cease and desist” order, prohibiting all further document destruction.
In a defiant move, records, obtained by The Gunpowder Gazette via a public record request, show that in November and December 2018, the financial documents from the Fiscal Services file room were sent to the district’s Pulaski Highway warehouse to be destroyed, while others were archived.
While Baltimore County schools maintains that the documents were scanned before being destroyed, district officials have been unable to provide documentation to that effect. Nor has the school system provided an official log which would detail precisely what was destroyed from that file room and why.
“They chose the records that would be destroyed, and they handed it off to someone else to hide their identities,” the whistleblower said during the interview with WBFF.
The whistleblower maintains that the sudden move by the high-ranking employees to shred years’ worth of records was unusual and concerning, considering the speed in which it was done, that the employees had been prohibited from destroying records, and because of the financial audit that was underway at the time.
The event prompted the whistleblower to come forward. “… They were in a hurry to get rid of a whole lot of something out of that room,” the whistleblower told WBFF.
The full Project Baltimore interview can be viewed below.