The outside investigation into SANDAG’s forecasting scandal came out late Monday night, and it included a shocking revelation.
SANDAG officials instructed staffers to delete documents to make sure they wouldn’t come up in a public records request, in the days just after Voice of San Diego broke the news that Measure A would likely raise far less than SANDAG was telling voters.
The directive was delivered the same day Voice of San Diego requested a trove of emails related to the forecasting scandal.
Though it was framed as a reiteration of the agency’s existing policy for retaining and deleting certain records, the investigators found, the reminder “in light of recent press inquiries and anticipated requests for documents, suggested to some employees that they should delete more than just draft documents. As a result, some employees may have deleted non-draft documents related to the forecasting error,” the report by law firm Hueston Hennigan says.
Investigators found that staff saved all materials related to their research into the crisis in a special folder on the server that was shielded from public records requests.
“When Kroninger created Hana Tools on November 1, 2016, he admittedly did so as a way to avoid public records requests,” the investigation reads, referring to the staffer who created the folder.