Gov. Charlie Baker says the State Police should not have tried to destroy records detailing the agency's payroll, especially as State Police find themselves the focus of a massive overtime abuse scandal.
State Police officials asked the state board in charge of public records if they could destroy 12 boxes of administrative records covering payroll from 2009 to 2012, records that are only required to be held for six years.
The board rejected the requests and Baker agrees that the State Police shouldn't be destroying any records while 46 troopers are under investigation and eight are facing indictment.
"Look, I think what the state police did was a mistake and I'm glad those records didn't get destroyed but in the normal course, those are the kinds of records that under normal circumstances typically would be sent to a place like that," Baker said Wednesday, after reports that the State Police's request had been denied.
Baker's Democratic opponent, Jay Gonzalez, has called on Baker to fire Colonel Kerry Gilpin, the head of the State Police who is in charge of investigating the corruption charges.
Baker is standing by Gilpin.
"I have no doubt about what side of this issue the colonel is on. The colonel is the one who collected data on 46 troopers who apparently and allegedly violated their oath of office and the overtime and personnel practises of the State Police.
Gilpin is also investigating allegations that troopers abused a benefit that granted them leave to take part in labor union functions.
Gonzales, however, thinks the unfolding State Police scandal is an outrage.
"I mean this takes this scandal to a whole different level," Gonzalez told reporters outside the capitol, according to a State House News Service report. "Because it's not only a scandal and criminal activity and fraud that's happening at the State Police and a total management failure, it is proactive attempts to cover it up. That is a huge problem."