Amid Probe, NY Governor Cuomo Orders Mass Deletion Of Government Emails

Tyler Durden's picture

In an Onion-esque story almosty too unbelievable to be real, IB Times reports, in a memo obtained by Capital New York, Cuomo officials announced that mass purging of email records is beginning across several state government agencies. The timing of the announcement, which followed through on a 2013 proposal, is worth noting: The large-scale destruction of state documents will be happening in the middle of a sprawling federal investigation of public corruption in Albany.


As IB Times reports, earlier this month, New Yorkers watched an inferno tear through a
warehouse full of old government records from the bygone paper era.

 Many probably felt relief in thinking that such records are now often digitized and therefore not at risk of being accidentally incinerated. Yet as Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s administration is showing this week, many records are vulnerable to another form of destruction: deliberate deletion.

As Capital New York reports...

The Cuomo administration has now fully implemented a policy of automatically deleting emails of rank-and-file state workers that are more than three months old, resulting in an effective purge of thousands of messages in recent days.


According to memos obtained by Capital, mass deletions began Monday at several state agencies after officials finished consolidating 27 separate email platforms to a single, cloud-based system called Office 365. It lets I.T. administrators purge any older messages, and can be set up to do so each day.




But more than a dozen advocacy organizations—including the Electronic Frontier Foundation, New York Civil Liberties Union and Sunlight Foundation, as well as New York-based good government groups—sent a letter to the governor late last month, arguing his policy was technologically unnecessary and out of step with the federal government, which saves emails from rank-and-file employees for seven years.


“In this era, government runs on email, and access to email and electronic records has become a cornerstone of public transparency. Our groups are very concerned that the administration’s June 2013 policy of using centralized software to automatically delete state employee emails after 90 days is resulting in the destruction of emails that are considered public records under New York’s Freedom of Information Law,” wrote the groups, which were organized by Reinvent Albany. “This policy was adopted without public notice or comment. Furthermore, we are extremely concerned that the inevitable destruction of email records under your 90-day automatic deletion policy directly undermines other public accountability laws like the False Claims Act.”

*  *  *

IB Times goes on to note that Cuomo’s move to purge state emails follows a similar move he made as state Attorney General.

International Business Times confirmed that in 2007, he put in place a mass deletion policy for emails in the New York Attorney General’s office that were more than 90 days old, making it difficult for the public to know how -- or whether -- his office investigated bank fraud in the lead-up to the financial crisis of 2008. In the Cuomo administration’s announcement this week, the governor's chief information officer, Maggie Miller, justified the new email purge as a cost-saving measure aimed at “making government work better.”




Melanie Sloan, a former Clinton Justice Department official, said the timing of the move raises significant legal questions.


“This is potentially obstruction of justice,” she told IBTimes. “The only reason that the government destroys records is so no one can question what it is doing, and no one can unearth information about improper conduct. There’s no reason for New York not to preserve this information.”

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Is anyone really surprised?

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ukspreads's picture

Delete  away, but there will always be a copy saved somewhere

InjectTheVenom's picture

i got a better about a mass deletion of arrogant sociopathic fascist criminal politicians and their masters ?!

knukles's picture

Open criminality run rampant. 
Remembrances of Robin Hood

N2OJoe's picture

Do they actually expect people to believe that the government is SUDDENLY interested in "a cost-saving measure aimed at “making government work better."???

NotApplicable's picture

FYI, this is going on everywhere. Positions are even created to ensure compliance with retention policies.

JonNadler's picture

HA HA, just try the deleting the copies of the e-mails at the NSA

JonNadler's picture

 whether -- his office investigated bank fraud in the lead-up to the financial crisis of 2008.

but for the bank fraud the bankers did not go to jail so how can you blame this clown for not investigating something that supposedly was not really fraud because if it were the bankers would be in jail? 

Beam Me Up Scotty's picture

Meanwhile, every business needs to keep every schnitzel of paper for at least 7 years.  Who audits the auditors when the auditors have become corrupt?  Who audits the IRS when the IRS has become corrupt?  Who audits .gov when .gov has become corrupt?

imbtween's picture

When evidence has been destroyed, the jury is instructed to consider it as an admission by the defendant that the emails were evidence of wrongdoing.

Theosebes Goodfellow's picture
~"NY Governor Cuomo Orders Mass Deletion Of Government Emails"~



Kinda' make you want to call for the mass deletion of government employees, don't it?

A_MacLaren's picture

An attempted mass deletion of emails brought down Oregon's now former governor.

Public records are what preserve the Republic against even more rampant cronyism.

OilCaptain's picture

"Mass deletion of emails"

It's kind of laughable.  Cuomo and Silverspoon should have taken lessons from the Lois Lerner case and shredded hard drives.

overmedicatedundersexed's picture

but but the IRS did it, and they are just fine..mass deletion of emails, he hired Lois Lerner to lead his team.

Withdrawn Sanction's picture

"Public records are what preserve the Republic against even more rampant cronyism."

If that's true, and I think it is, then perhaps the presumption of innocent until proven guilty should be waived for public officials who willfully destroy public records.  That is, any public official who knowingly/willfully destroys public records shall be deemed by that fact alone as guilty of obstruction of justice and conspiracy. 

Beam Me Up Scotty's picture

That meme only applies to private business and private citizens and employees.  Public employees are exempt from the law and if they aren't they just change the law to exempt themselves.  Even unlawful acts can be made lawful if 50%+1 vote for it.  Murder could be made lawful by a simple majority.

t0mmyBerg's picture

Obviously not.  Emperor Cuomo and his sycophantic state legislature cannot let the hoi polloi know anything about the inner workings or there might be a revolt.  Well, probably not.  In NY as everywhere else people are either too busy or too stupid and lazy to care what the fuck takes place in politics. 

The failure of the Founding Fathers to make provision for term limits (even though the Supreme Court was wrong, as they seemingly are on everything these days, in striking down the term limit movement among the states) will prove to have been the achilles heel of the current republican experiment. 

tarsubil's picture

But disk space is so expensive! *snicker*

DavidC's picture

America is so fucked.


Oracle 911's picture

Is that sudden realization or not?

DavidC's picture

That made me smile! No, it's not!


Bunga Bunga's picture

That will be true for mass surveillance data only.

City_Of_Champyinz's picture

Are you fucking kidding me?  Can this corruption be any more in your face??  I see an arrogant NY douchebag in prison garb soon...

BanksterSlayer's picture

You mean like all those orange-jumpsuit-clad Wall Street arrogant douchebags that we still haven't seen?

SDShack's picture

It's the Corzine way.... Free John Corzine!

wwxx's picture

It is the Mike Huckaby (past Republican Governor of Ark) way of doing things.



City_Of_Champyinz's picture

Yep, I could not have said it any better myself...

onewayticket2's picture

"delete?  why?  it's easier than that, silly!"



Lois Lerner  (currently enjoying my $124,000 bonus)

Normalcy Bias's picture

Ladies and gentlemen of the jury, I'm just a caveman. I fell on some ice and later got thawed out by some of your scientists. Your world frightens and confuses me! Sometimes the honking horns of your traffic make me want to get out of my BMW, and run off into the hills, or wherever. Sometimes when I get a message on my fax machine, I wonder: "Did little demons get inside and type it?" I don't know! My primitive mind can't grasp these concepts. 

Oldwood's picture

Sometimes you have to destroy justice to save it. Sound familiar?

The ends ALWAYS justify the means.

island's picture

If only.  Corzine is still a free man.

LawsofPhysics's picture

Like I have said before, these fucking fascist/crony fucking criminals will never indicte themselves...  If they cannot change the laws quick enough they will destroy evidence and eliminate wittnesses...


same as it ever was...  (especially in jew york)

N2OJoe's picture

They never hang themselves from lamppost either.

"It takes a village"

clade7's picture

Cool!  delete my taxpaying US citizenship status while you are at it, you dirty fuck!

NotApplicable's picture

Sorry, but that's an inalienable status. Revocation DENIED!

williambanzai7's picture

Makes perfect sense. Makes government work better.

This is the rule everyone should follow for their personal financial records: 90 days.

Meta_Consciousness's picture

Gmail's claim to fame was that you'd never need to delete email. They have you a ton of space to store it all.

After two years of storage, by law, your emails become theirs and no warrant is needed to search them by government officials.

Of course, we've both used it to communicate and in a couple years they'll know you provide great service when folks buy your art. Even if postal services bork the hard cardboard tube you seal the print in. Jerks.

winflation's picture

It's all hebrew to me anyway

maskone909's picture

hey it worked for lois lerner


thanks lois.  way to set the bar.

GMadScientist's picture

Here's to the "Snowden" who will assuredly scuttle that shit off to a thumb drive before wiping.

Panic Mode's picture

New policy: we can sue you but you can't sue us. 

replaceme's picture

Well to be fair, his face should be punishment enough for any crime. and the obligatory fuck him with a chainsaw.

dexter_morgan's picture

Cuomo is a fucking evil bastard and he looks like a crazy fuck. NY'ers must be crazy to elect a douche like this.

moonman's picture

NYC elected him. The rest of us? not so much

permarig's picture

Another day in the world reserve currency providing banana republic.

Herodotus's picture

They made their 1st mistake in putting them in cloud storage.  There will now be a copy of all the deleted emails.  The feds will be able to get these directly from Microsoft or their cloud storage vendor.