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Scott, Bartlett win round 1 of Morgan e-mail scandal
Computer battle hitting snags in hard drive search for inappropriate material

By Sheryl Marsh · 340-2437

It appears that Sheriff Greg Bartlett and Revenue Commissioner Amanda Scott may have won round one of the Morgan County computer battle by sitting on their hard drives.

Early Friday, County Commission Chairman Pro Tem Stacy George seemed to be at a loss concerning what to do next, because Bartlett and Scott refused to release their hard drives for a computer specialist to copy.

A move by Scott later in the day got George moving again.

She changed door locks to her office.

“She’s out of control and something has to be done,” George said.

On Thursday, Scott locked her computer hard drive in a vault. Bartlett wrote a letter telling George and the computer expert that they could not have any hard drives from his office and that they were not to review e-mails from his office on the county’s main server. A deputy stopped the data processing people from going to Bartlett’s office.

George said the computer specialist, Wade Morgan, a Hoover police officer, has refused to look at the information on the county’s server based on the sheriff’s letter and a phone conversation he had with him Thursday.

Friday, George said that he consulted a former district attorney who told him that Bartlett’s hard drive is not off limits for examination, and neither is Scott’s.

“He told me that there was nothing wrong with reviewing sensitive information involving homeland security and other secure type information, but that it should not be published. He told me that if we need the hard drives, we shouldn’t have a problem getting a judge to issue an injunction to get them. He also gave me information on how to deal with this with authorities of higher power.”

Probate Judge Bobby Day’s lawyer gave George a letter stating that he did not object to review of his e-mails on the county server. Day said he did not want his hard drive copied because adoption records are not public.

George said the commission is going to have to take action to get all of the hard drives.

“Otherwise, we are opening ourselves up for legal trouble with our former human resources director, whom we fired for sending inappropriate e-mails,” George said.

The commission fired the ex-director, Jack Underwood, after he sent a racy e-mail to Chairman John Glasscock, who forwarded it to Decatur Mayor Don Kyle. The mayor said he told Glasscock not to send him that type of e-mail.

George said the investigation has to include all county elected officials. “If he’s not willing to do it, we’re going to find somebody who will,” George said. “If we’re going to do some and not others, we don’t need to do any of them. We set out to find out if anyone is sending or receiving inappropriate e-mails on county computers, and we’re not going to stop until we’re finished. What makes our law enforcement agency different from those in other counties where cops have been found with child pornography and charged for it? This is all the more reason we must look at all of the e-mails.”

The computer specialist has scanned the hard drives of Glasscock, the commissioners, License Commissioner Sue Roan and her deputy commissioner.

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