Matt Dixon, (@Mdixon55)
A “deficient” backup system was in place when nearly two years of Florida Department of Correction’s public emails were destroyed, according to an inspector general’s report published in August 2013.
The destruction of public records was first reported by the Scripps-Tribune Capitol Bureau in October. The department admitted all emails from January 2007 through September 2008 were destroyed during a 2012 attempt to “fix a hardware problem” by the Southwood Shared Resource Center, a state-owned data center that houses information for state departments and agencies
That admission came after department officials told a reporter for roughly one year that they had been processing a public records request related to emails that were destroyed during the hardware maintenance. The initial records request was filed in October 2013.
“Your records request is still being processed,” said Jessica Cary, a department spokeswoman, in a July email.
Two months later, not much had changed.
“I understand your frustration. I’ve personally met without IT director to expedite your request,” Cary, who was not the department’s communications director at the time of the original request, wrote in a September email.
Despite assurance the records request were being processed, records show the department knew the requested emails were destroyed on March 19, 2012, the same day it occurred. That’s nearly 20 months before the public records request was filed.