This story originally appeared on Spotlight PA.
Thousands of records, including evidence logs from the Pennsylvania State Police’s crime labs, were accidentally deleted from state servers at the start of the year — the result of “human error,” Gov. Josh Shapiro’s administration said.
Though the majority of records have been restored, according to administration officials, it is not clear — nor certain — whether the remainder can be recovered.
The data was housed on servers managed by Shapiro’s Office of Administration, which oversees information technology services for most state agencies. Its spokesperson, Dan Egan, said in an emailed statement the data loss, which occurred on Jan. 3 during routine server maintenance, was “limited.” But he also said the office had launched “a thorough review” of its information technology policies and controls.
At least one Office of Administration employee was fired over the incident, according to two sources familiar with the matter.
In an email, State Police spokesperson Myles Snyder said the data mishap impacted two programs used by its Bureau of Forensic Services to log evidence and manage those submissions. The bureau operates six forensic labs and one DNA lab which collectively process crime-related evidence from hundreds of local police departments across the state.
Snyder said the Office of Administration has been able to restore access to “nearly all” of that information. He stressed that no physical evidence was lost.