Iron Mountain withholding hundreds of boxes of city records | Business News

Archives firm Iron Mountain is withholding hundreds of boxes of files it holds for the city of New Orleans, according to a city hall spokeswoman because of an ongoing financial dispute with Mayor Latoya Cantrell’s administration. Mann confirmed.

The controversy first came to light in an unrelated federal lawsuit involving New Orleans police officers. According to court records, the defendants in the case, City and his NOPD, were unable to produce the required documents for the trial. A subpoena to release records held on behalf of the City. ”

Court records do not reveal the specific nature of the dispute or whether the company is withholding files because the city has not paid its bills, but it is implied.

Cantrell spokesman Gregory Joseph said: “We are currently in the process of resolving contractual issues with Iron Mountain, which has hundreds of boxes of City records. I was unable to provide many details other than to say,

“We cannot give a timeframe as to when these issues will be resolved,” he added.

Iron Mountain is a publicly traded company based in Boston with a local office in Hallahan. We store paper files and digital documents for clients around the world.

The company and its attorneys did not respond to multiple requests for comment.

Joseph confirmed the dispute, citing “contractual issues,” but the city was unable to find a contract or order form with Iron Mountain for document storage services, so it said, “How many in hundreds of boxes?” It’s unclear if there are records, “how far back and how many city departments may be affected.”

Alderman Joe Giarusso, who heads the city council’s budget committee, was new to the controversy. But he said the situation is troubling on many levels and sets red flags for how the city and one of its vendors are doing business.

“The bottom line is that the city needs to be able to access its own documents. “Conversely, if you’re receiving services and you haven’t paid your bills, you have to pay your bills.”

frustration with silence

The dispute between the city and Iron Mountain came to light in 2022 in a federal civil lawsuit filed by local couple Derek Brown and Julie Baleki Brown against the city, former police chief Sean Ferguson and NOPD officer Derrick Barmaster. I went to The lawsuit alleges that the bar master violated Brown’s civil rights when he fatally shot his 18-week-old rescue dog while responding to a noise complaint in his home. .

Mayor LaToya Cantrell listens to Superintendent Sean Ferguson of the New Orleans Police Department during a press conference at New Orleans City Hall on Tuesday, June 29, 2021.

At issue are old records from the barmaster’s personnel files that Brown’s attorney, William Most, has been trying to obtain in preparation for the trial. The city resisted turning over some of the unrelated files, but in 2012 he published a NOPD Public Integrity Bureau report, alleging another deadly dog ​​was shot at the barmaster’s hand. I have agreed to publish the results of my investigation into the shooting.

Records show the officer did nothing wrong in the incident.

In early October, the city submitted a subpoena to Iron Mountain to file the PIB report, according to court documents.

“I agree to draft the 2012 Burmaster complaint, which concerns the use of force against animals, even if the charges were not maintained as a result,” Assistant City Attorney Jonathan Adams said last year. I wrote to Most in an email in May. “As you know, I summoned it from Iron Mountain.

But the company ignored subpoenas and follow-up calls, and ignored calls from Assistant City Attorney Jonathan Adams.

At a hearing in the court of federal magistrate Karen Robbie in late November, Jim Lockmore, another city assistant attorney on the matter, said the city had yet to obtain records from the company. Robbie set up a hearing on Jan. 4 about a motion to force Iron Mountain to file the papers.

But that hearing was postponed after the city signaled that both sides were working to resolve their disagreements.

No contract?

Iron Mountain is a 60-year-old company, traded on the New York Stock Exchange, with more than 24,000 employees worldwide and a market capitalization of over $1.1 billion. For more than a decade, the company has contracted with the sanitation department to provide paper shredder services as part of its free recycling program, according to the city’s online contract database.

But there is no record of any agreement to keep old paper files for NOPD or any other department. Iron Mountain’s local administrator, Robert Leamann, spoke to reporters in early December and declined to provide information about the extent of the company’s services to the city. After being sent a copy of the court records, he referred to the company’s email address for a subsequent request for comment, but did not respond to multiple emails.

The company’s local attorneys, Kellen Mathieu and Kathleen Cronin, also did not respond to emails seeking comment.

Joseph couldn’t explain why the city’s purchasing office couldn’t find a contract with the company, but all the contracts and purchase orders contained in the city’s BuySpeed ​​and AFIN databases were lost in the 2019 cyberattack. I pointed out that

In December 2019, the city was hit by a cyberattack that temporarily closed the local government, exposed vulnerabilities in the city’s IT systems, and cost millions of dollars. Apparently, some key formations were lost forever, such as contracts with vendors paid for with public money.

Giarrusso says the situation at Iron Mountain is troubling and questions other bills the city hasn’t paid.

“It’s hard to say for sure how bad the problem is, but we hear rumors all the time,” he said. They don’t want to get hurt by saying something publicly.”

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