Jun 24, 2013 at 8:35 am
A lawmaker wants Attorney General Wayne Stenehjem to determine whether North Dakota State University President Dean Bresciani committed a felony crime of public records tampering.
A letter to Stenhejem says more than 45,000 emails were deleted from Bresciani’s account after the Legislative Council made a request for them on April 29th.Some of the emails went back to 2010.
Some lawmakers are looking into Bresciani’s possible role in the resignation of North Dakota University System Chancellor Ham Shirvani. They believe Bresciani and other North Dakota college presidents were working to undermine the chancellor.
North Dakota law says it’s a felony for a public official to “destroy, conceal or remove” a government record without lawful authority. It’s punishable by up to five years in prison and a $5,000 fine.
North Dakota media attorney Jack McDonald says it would be illegal to destroy records after someone had requested them.
The letter to Stenehjem was written by Legislative Council attorney John Bjornson. It says the request is being made on behalf of a lawmaker. The person isn’t identified.
It also asks for emails from board members Janice Hoffarth and Kari Reichert and some present and former university system employees.