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Scott in charge of hard-drive inspection

By Sheryl Marsh
smarsh@decaturdaily.com 340-2437

Morgan County Revenue Commissioner Amanda Scott will get her computer hard drive examined, and the report will come to her.

That's the latest twist in the courthouse e-mail investigation. The County Commission voted unanimously to let Scott get her computer hard drive examined and to let her be in charge of the investigation.

The commission passed a resolution for her to enter an agreement with Wade Morgan, the computer specialist the commission hired to do forensic examinations of computer hard drives. The examination of e-mails will be limited to a search for pornography or inappropriate content.

The report from the examination goes to Scott and any data removed from her hard drive or the hard drive of her chief clerk will be destroyed in front of her, according to the agreement.

The e-mail probe stemmed from the county's ex-human resources director sending e-mails showing naked women to Chairman John Glasscock, who then sent them to people outside the courthouse.

Morgan came to the courthouse and copied hard drives of 19 elected officials, department heads and political appointees Nov. 14. Scott said she did not want him copying hers and taking the information back to Birmingham, so she locked hers in an office vault and changed the locks on her doors.

Scott and her attorney, Jerry Knight, attended Thursday's meeting.

Never objected

Knight said Scott has never objected to Morgan looking at her hard drive, but she wanted safety measures in place to protect taxpayer information. He said he sent a letter to County Attorney Bill Shinn on Dec. 22 explaining Scott's position on the examination of her hard drive.

The commission stopped the investigation of objecting officials Dec. 28.

District 2 Commissioner Ken Livingston, who moved for Morgan to process the information he had copied and complete his work, said he did not intend for the investigation to end.

District 3 Commissioner Kevin Murphy, District 4 Commissioner Stacy George, Glasscock and Shinn all said they thought the commission voted to end the investigation.

Livingston made the motion Thursday for Scott to have Morgan examine her hard drive and that of her chief clerk. Scott and her chief appraiser will take the hard drives to Morgan in Homewood and they will be present while he examines them.

Murphy, who stated Wednesday that he was against Scott having the hard drives examined after the probe is over, voted for her to do so. Murphy asked that Scott pay for it from her discretionary fund, which is made up of taxpayers' money.

Board of Registrars Chairwoman Adonis Bailey also volunteered her hard drive for Morgan to check. Commissioners would have approved it; however, Bailey said she didn't have money in her budget to pay for Morgan examining the hard drive. Bailey also had opposed the examination of her hard drive.

The estimated cost for Scott's and her employee's examinations is $800 to $1,000.

A search of Glasscock's and fired human resources director Jack Underwood's hard drives turned up more sexual e-mails. Glasscock had 50, 40 of them in a PowerPoint presentation showing nude women.

Conflicting statement

Glasscock, who said last week that he had not relinquished his chair to newly elected chairman pro tem Jeff Clark, said Thursday that he did.

Glasscock states in an e-mail to the other commissioners Jan. 11 that he made requested that Clark take charge of finishing the investigation Jan. 9, the day he told The Daily that he had no intention of relinquishing his chair to Clark. This explains Clark's action in giving directives to the data processing manager to keep George from looking at e-mails on the main server last week.

George filed a petition Wed-nesday in Circuit Court naming Glasscock, Clark and the data processing manager as defendants. George is asking a judge for a restraining order against them so he can view the server.

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