A “technical glitch” erased an unknown amount of email from some Missoula County elected officials, department heads and other employees.
The emails that were purged were at least three years old, according to Jason Emery, the county’s director of technology. The county’s system automatically permanently deletes lower-level employees’ emails after three years, but it’s not sure if that system is related to the purge.
“We found the problem a little over a week ago when we started getting a few reports that people couldn’t find emails, then realized it was more widespread,” Emery said. “We don’t know where we started ultimately with the number of emails, so we don’t have a reference point” to know how many are gone.
“Our hypothesis is we had a technical glitch with one of our retention policies and instead of retaining for three years it purged everything older than three years. … We know what happened but are not sure why.”
Emery believes the glitch occurred around Feb. 1. He’s working on trying to figure out how many of the county’s 844 employees the purge affected.
Chris Lounsbury, Missoula County’s chief operating officer,