Baltimore County Schools Destroyed Accounting Records Amid High Profile Procurement Audit and Directive to Stop all Record Destruction

Ann Constantino:

In the midst of a high profile and widely anticipated procurement audit last year, employees from Baltimore County Public Schools (BCPS) had over 53,000 lbs. of accounting documents from its fiscal services file room destroyed, a windowless storage-room-turned-office in its Business Administration building.

This, according to information provided by BCPS in response to a direct request, specifically seeking a log detailing which records had been removed from the room, purportedly first scanned and then destroyed.

Last fall, the school board directed then-interim Superintendent Verletta White to direct all staff to cease the destruction of all documents after roughly 2,600 financial disclosure statements were found to have been destroyed months earlier, which included some records needed for the procurement audit.

Two floors above the meeting room, where school board members convene for bimonthly public meetings in Building E of BCPS’ Greenwood campus headquarters, the file room was emptied to make room for a new office. Certificates from a shredding company show that the records were destroyed in November and December 2018, a few months before an April 2019 report was delivered to the school board, at the conclusion of what was supposed to be a comprehensive procurement audit which looked into the system’s procurement practices for years 2012 through 2017.