Two INS Employees Indicted For Shredding Applications
This week two contract employees with the INS California Service Center were indicted on charges that they shredded as many as 90,000 applications in an effort to reduce the backlog of pending cases. Dawn Randall, a file room manager, and Leonel Salazar, a file room supervisor, are accused of ordering other employees to shred the applications after a review showed that there were 90,000 unprocessed documents in the file room.
The shredding allegedly occurred between February and April of last year. According to the indictment, the backlog was gone by March, and Randall ordered employees to continue shredding new documents in order to prevent the creation of another backlog. The problem was discovered in April when an INS supervisor noticed what was occurring. At the time, the INS attempted to make people aware of the problem, setting up a hotline for people who suspected their information might have been among that destroyed.
Since then, the INS says that it has improved oversight at the Service Center, and that it has increased the number of INS employees, as opposed to contract employees. Also, only INS employees can destroy documents.
Randall and Salazar each face one count of conspiracy and five counts of willfully destroying documents. The maximum possible sentence is 20 years.
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