Paper files mysteriously disappear, and reappear, from Michigan township supervisor’s office

December 3, 2012

The supervisor for Gaines Township, near Grand Rapids, Michigan, arrived the first day on his job to find all of the documents in his filing cabinets and drawers gone. After sending a mass email threatening to file a police report if the files were not replaced in a week, Chuck Melki arrived that next week to find five recycling bins filled with the missing papers.

Melki had recently defeated former supervisor Paul Fortino after 10 years of service. But Fortino claims all the papers were in the office when he left.

While most of the confidential documents are held by the township clerk, the reappearing documents included "copies of budgets, master plans, road contracts, attorney correspondence, paperwork from the assessing department, community development, and board policies and procedures," according to Sue Somers, a former township trustee and supporter of Melki.

Though the papers were eventually returned to the Gaines Township office, keeping digital documents in the future can help supervisors ensure the case of the "missing documents" will not happen again. Fortino told Michigan Live, a online news source, he will have to go through each piece of paper to confirm nothing is missing.

For offices with a high volume of paper and documents, bulk scanning services can keep papers from disappearing and prevent information and security from being compromised. Even more so, data entry services can also import information in an organized and searchable way, giving offices the opportunity to find information and documents that would otherwise take much longer. By backing up documents digitally, offices can work without fear that documents will mysteriously disappear.