FBI, ABI not probing e-mails
Alabama, federal officials will not intervene in Morgan Courthouse scandal
By Sheryl Marsh
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State and federal agencies will not intervene in an investigation of an e-mail scandal that erupted at the Morgan County Courthouse five months ago.
County Commission Chairman John Glasscock said last month that he sent letters to the FBI and the Alabama Bureau of Investigation asking for an outside probe of e-mail irregularities on the county's computer system.
Paul Daymond, a spokesman for the FBI Birmingham division, said the agency received the letter but will not investigate.
"Our folks in the Huntsville office took a look at the information provided, and based on that, it appears to be purely an ethics issue," Daymond said. "There's nothing for us to look at."
Daymond said he could not comment on information Glasscock provided.
Glasscock sent a one-paragraph letter to each agency, which stated, "We request your expert assistance as there appears to have been e-mail irregularities on the county computer system."
"He didn't send any other material other than the resolution the commission passed authorizing the chairman to do that" (request a probe), said Syble Atkins, county administrator.
The ABI also denied Glasscock's request.
"The ABI will not conduct an investigation because of the nature of it," said Doris Teague, a spokeswoman for the Department of Public Safety, of which ABI is a division. "It was determined that the ABI did not have the expertise to conduct an investigation."
During a meeting Feb. 27, Glasscock said he was calling on the ABI and FBI to "restore integrity to county government."
The e-mail scandal involved Glasscock and a fired human resources director. A television reporter aired the story in November of Glasscock receiving an e-mail from the director showing naked women. Glasscock forwarded the e-mail to others outside the courthouse.
The commission fired the
director but could not punish Glasscock because he is an elected official.
The commission hired an outside law firm and computer expert to investigate.
The expert's forensic examination of computers found more than 140 sexual e-mails on the computers of the director and Glasscock.
Glasscock's computer had 50 of the e-mails, which the expert labeled pornographic images.
No other county computers that the expert examined had such e-mails.
The last leg of the e-mail scandal is in court.
District 4 Commissioner Stacy George has pending litigation in Circuit Court against Glasscock, District 1 Commissioner Jeff Clark and Data Processing Manager David Hannah.
George alleges that the trio stopped him from accessing e-mails on the county's main server.
Circuit Judge Steve Haddock has not set a date for final court action in the case.
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