Lawmakers hold off investigation of claims Maine Center for Disease Control shredded funding records

Posted April 12, 2013, at 2:12 p.m.
Last modified April 12, 2013, at 5:47 p.m.

AUGUSTA, Maine — The Maine Attorney General’s Office is reviewing a claim that Maine Center for Disease Control officials ordered the shredding of public funding records, according to the Legislature’s Government Oversight Committee.

Committee members were told about the review Friday morning. Because of that, members decided not to ask the state’s Office of Program Evaluation and Government Accountability to look into the allegation that public documents were intentionally destroyed at the CDC.

“No one in our office has said there is an investigation,” Attorney General Janet Mills said Friday.

However, committee members took the first step toward ordering an investigation into other aspects of the CDC, including claims that management there has harassed and intimidated employees and did not use proper criteria when it decided the allocation of millions of dollars of funds for community health organizations last spring.

The issue arose last week when Sharon Leahy-Lind, director of the CDC’s Division of Local Public Health, s ent a complaint of discrimination to the Maine Human Rights Commission alleging, among other things, that her bosses ordered her to destroy documents. The documents showed the scoring results for the 27 Healthy Maine Partnerships organizations at the center of last summer’s controversy over state funding. She said the scoring was manipulated to favor certain organizations over others.

Through her lawyer, Leahy-Lind has said the official scoring results posted on the Maine CDC’s website differed from the scoring results she was told to shred.

Those scores determined which organizations got hundreds of thousands of dollars in state funding.