by Charlton “Chuck” Stanley, Weekend Contributor
Last week, I reported on the deliberate misfiling, destruction, and throwing away files at the Records Center in St. Louis. Although an audit showed several employees were outside normal limits for error rates, only two were serious enough to warrant charges.
As I described in the earlier story last week, one of the men, 28-year-old Lonnie Halkmon, entered a guilty plea to a misdemeanor charge of destruction of government records. Halkmon was sentenced to forty hours of community service and two years probation. He could have gotten up to six months in jail on that charge.
Engram was responsible for the destruction of more than a thousand records. He destroyed some of them, threw 241 away in the woods near the Center, and took others home with him where he tossed them in the trash.
Yesterday, the second defendant, 21-year-old Stanley Engram was given an identical sentence by U.S. Magistrate Judge Terry Adelman. At the sentencing, Judge Adelman told Engram, “There was no reason for this. Veterans depend on the records for pension and disability benefits.”
Engram’s lawyer, Eric Banks told Judge Adelman that his client has “…seen the error of his ways.”
The workers are given incentive pay for completing and closing out files. Obviously, management did not check with an industrial psychologist to see what could possibly go wrong when employee pay depends on how many files they close out.
Source: St. Louis Post-Dispatch
24 thoughts on “Second Worker at the Military Records Center in St. Louis Sentenced”
Many years ago while in college, in a galaxy far away, I worked in that records center as a summer clerk. I was in the unit that pulled records in response to requests by promotion boards, congress critters, etc. Our unit was very conscientious about handling the records, and there was an air of professionalism even though what we did was mundane. Sad to see this happen. I agree with Prof Turley that this is probably a symptom of a larger problem within the center, although that apparent problem is no excuse for the conduct of the employee. I tend to concur with the sentence, provided that there was a healthy amount of restitution involved to compensate the persons whose records were trashed.
Not enough time…
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