Whenever I read in the paper about how the Avon Township records were ‘accidentally’ destroyed by the former supervisor’s adult daughter and her male friend, I still wonder why she was given a pass by the state’s attorney’s office. What was ‘accidental’ about allowing someone ‘unauthorized’ to be anywhere near township computers with sensitive information on them? I, as a taxpayer in the District 116 area, highly resent that someone’s grown daughter and their friend were allowed anywhere near my private information. Why weren’t additional charges filed against these two people as well as the former supervisor? Having been around computer software for many years I know that ALL deletion type software programs come with multiple warnings cautioning you several times as you maneuver through the process. You are warned with multiple chances to STOP the process because continuing will TOTALLY wipe out ALL information on the hard drive. These two individuals that installed the software were given ample warnings before continuing with the former supervisor’s desire to only remove email addresses and personal information (if you believe that BS). Why should she have ANY personal information or private email addresses on a tax payer funded computer in the first place? I don’t expect elected officials to be using items that I helped pay for to be spending time on Facebook or Twittering with the possibility of having official information breached by a hacker as we have seen reported numerous times. The two individuals knew darned well what their actions would end up doing and if the former supervisor was NOT monitoring their actions at the time, shame on her for not overseeing what it was they were about to do.
Now, former supervisor Shirley Christian, wants to cut a deal to only pay 60% (up from under 40%) of what the township requested for the file destruction. In my opinion, she not only should be charged the total amount for any damage, time lost, replacement costs, etc. but also criminal charges should have been placed for allowing access to the computers by unauthorized individuals. When you are put in charge of the public trust, the ‘buck’ stops at YOUR desk and former supervisor Shirley Christian failed to protect our private information. The current township officials should not accept a penny less than the amount originally requested and should also ask the courts to have the former supervisor pay any legal fees encountered in the pursuit to collect that full amount. Right now, the former supervisors attorney is using the reduced 60% settlement as a ploy to avoid having the taxpayers pay for a legal challenge. However, if the officials go after the full amount, I suggest that additional charges be levied against the former supervisor, her daughter, and the friend for unauthorized access to official information. There is no reason we as taxpayers should suffer ANY loss from future litigation.
Editor Update 01/08/10:
At the recent Township meeting, the officials voted to accept the reduced offer and move on. That means that former Supervisor Shirley Christian, her daughter Karen Christian-Smith, and the daughter’s male friend Gregory Koeppen (Executive Director at Lake County Farm Bureau), who used a software called Active@KillDisk will go unpunished for destroying the hard drive data on official township computers.
Doesn’t just the name of the software speak for itself?
Here is how the manufacturer describes the product:
Active@ Kill Disk is a powerful and compact software that allows you to destroy all data on hard and floppy drives completely, excluding any possibility of future recovery of deleted files and folders..