BALTIMORE (WJZ) — A new Baltimore Office of the Inspector General report says the city’s former Deputy Comptroller Bernice Taylor did shred documents in August 2020, months after the city issued a directive to stop all shredding of city documents.
The documents, however, did not pertain to an ongoing Department of Labor investigation nor were any of them city records.
OIG began its investigation after it was informed that a former city employee has shredded and disposed of documents while she was cleaning her desk in early August 2020.
Taylor had retired in March 2020 to take care of an elderly family member, but due to the pandemic hadn’t gotten a chance to clean out her desk.
While the Department of Labor was investigating a Family Medical Leave claim, someone reached out to Taylor about documentation related to the claim. She told them she needed access to her former office to find the documents required and while she was there would clean out her office.
New IG report: Former Deputy Comptroller Bernice Taylor did indeed shred documents in August after she retired, but they did not pertain to a Department of Labor investigation.
A directive stopping all shredding of City documents was issued after her March retirement. https://t.co/1YUu29Iu90
— Paul Gessler (@PaulGessler) October 21, 2020
Several other employees in the comptroller’s office knew Taylor would be coming in on Aug. 6 and Aug. 7 to clean out her office but they didn’t notify security.
Taylor walked past the Baltimore Police officers who were at security without identification and gained access to her office. While cleaning out her office she shredded some documents, but OIG said they had nothing to do with the ongoing DOL investigation, nor were they city records.
The city had directed employees to stop shredding documents in March 2020, but it was after Taylor retired.
Comptroller Joan Pratt responded to OIG’s findings by saying she would reiterate the city’s directive to her staff and notify the officers at security to check identification for anyone trying to gain access to city buildings.