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Haddock staying in e-mail lawsuit
Judge refuses request to step aside from case

By Sheryl Marsh · 340-2437

Morgan County Circuit Judge Steve Haddock said he will decide a lawsuit involving public disclosure of e-mail on county computers.

Haddock declined to recuse himself Wednesday.

He responded to a petition that District 4 Commissioner Stacy George’s attorney Hubert Porter filed last week. Porter asked the judge to recuse himself because he and County Commission Chairman John Glasscock serve on the county’s Community Corrections Commission. Sheriff Greg Bartlett is on the same commission.

George has a lawsuit pending that he filed in January against Glasscock, District 1 Commissioner Jeff Clark and Data Processing Manager David Hannah.

He alleges that the three men prohibited him from viewing e-mail on the county’s main server in December.

Issued restraining order

Haddock issued a temporary restraining order Feb. 2 to keep the officials from destroying any of the electronic records. He did not allow George immediate access to view the e-mail. Instead, he set a hearing for March 16.

Porter also filed a petition Monday asking Haddock to order immediate inventory of computer files because the sheriff said some of the e-mails generated through his office were missing.

Haddock’s ruling Wednesday states that George will have an opportunity during the hearing to present legal evidence “as to whether the defendants willfully caused or allowed the destruction or disappearance of files in violation of the prior order of the court.”

Hannah said at a commission meeting Tuesday that no e-mails are missing, but they are not visible.

He said the message store on Outlook Express is too full and cannot display all messages.

Court filings, public records requests and investigations stem from an e-mail of naked women that Glasscock received on his county computer and forwarded to others.

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