Public records torched, some stored at Spring Valley DPW garagePosted: Updated:
Some public records were torched while other are being stored at a Department of Public Works garage in Spring Valley, News 12 discovered Thursday.
Spring Valley village attorney Jeffrey Millman says old housing records were burned at the DPW in accordance with state law.
According to the New York State Archives, Section 8 files can be destroyed six years after a case closes. The master log of payments and applicants, on the other hand, is permanent. Millman says that he doesn't know what was burned.
When News 12 arrived at the DPW, Village Trustee Eudson Tyson Francios was already there. He says a former village employee told him Mayor Alan Simon had ordered the DPW to burn the documents.
“I was able to question the staff, actually the person who was doing the burning, and he did inform me and he said he did get word from the mayor,” he says.
According to Millman, the mayor didn't order anything and the decision was made by the Section 8 director with the village clerk in accordance with village code.
Many of the boxes being stored in the garage are labeled from the legal department. Millman says they are being stored there, even though state policy says local government records kept off site should have the same, if not better, security and preservation than if maintained at a village or town hall.
News 12 was told Mayor Alan Simon and the DPW superintendent were too busy to comment.