Romney Staff Spent $97K to Purge Records

Digital records of his governorship erased at taxpayers' expense
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 6, 2011 12:10 AM CST
Updated Dec 6, 2011 7:30 AM CST
Romney Staff Spent $97K to Purge Records
Mitt Romney speaks during an appearance in Des Moines last month.   (Getty Images)

(Newser) – Mitt Romney's aides' attempt to erase the electronic records from his time as Massachusetts governor cost the state's taxpayers nearly $100,000, Reuters finds. As Romney prepared to launch his first presidential bid in 2007, his staff bought the hard drives of their state-issued computers, wiped emails from state servers, and signed a lease for new computers for the governor's office, breaking an earlier lease and costing the state $97,000.

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Romney representatives say the governor followed the law and precedent, although the former director of administration for the governor's office says his efforts to wipe out records were unprecedented in her 23 years of serving successive governors. Massachusetts officials say state law on releasing records has not been updated to deal with digital records. They are now reviewing requests to release paper records from Romney's governorship, some of which he also sought to destroy before leaving office. (Read more Massachusetts stories.)

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