Smithsonian Official Resigns After Destroying Key Records

In a story broken this week by the Washington Post, it was revealed that a senior Smithsonian Institution official has resigned amid allegations that he destroyed minutes from a Smithsonian Board of Regents meeting in January at which former-Secretary Lawrence M. Small’s compensation and expenses were scrutinized. James M. Hobbins, executive assistant to the secretary of the Smithsonian, allegedly destroyed transcripts of the meeting despite orders from the Smithsonian’s general counsel that such documents be retained at the request of Congress.

Smithsonian officials were reticent to discuss the situation publicly, including any possible criminal charges, citing the fact that it involved internal personnel matters. Hobbins had worked at the Smithsonian for over 40 years, and was the liaison between the Board of Regents and the secretary.

Small left the Smithsonian under fire earlier this year amid allegations of improper housing, travel and entertainment expenses.