Published: Friday, January 11, 2008
Hard drives being probed Struthers mayor calls in the state
There is an allegation of some sort of tampering with hard drives.
By WILLIAM K. ALCORN
STRUTHERS The Ohio Bureau of Criminal Identification and Investigation has confiscated the hard drives of four computers from the city administration building for forensic testing.
BCI acted this week after Mayor Terry P. Stocker called the Ohio attorney general's office saying he had issues with some of the city's computers.
Stocker revealed the investigation Wednesday during city council's caucus before its regular meeting.
The mayor would not say what the issues are that concern him, but did say they are impeding his effectiveness in running the city.
There is no timeline for how long it will take BCI to examine the hard drives for any possible problems, agency spokeswoman Jennifer Brindisi said. There is an allegation of some sort of tampering, she said.
The computers were not retrieved by BCI, and it is "my understanding," Brindisi said, that the city is buying new hard drives so work can continue.
Struthers Law Director Carol Clemente Wagner said neither she, nor the city's other top law enforcement officer, Police Chief Robert Norris, were brought into the loop by Stocker.
As of Thursday, she said they did not know anything about the mayor's complaint to BCI other than what has been on the news.
Also in the dark about what Stocker said to BCI is former Mayor Daniel Mamula.
Mamula said he was in Stocker's office Jan. 3 to show the new mayor where folders containing city information are and to discuss other city business but was not informed of any problem.
Mamula said he deleted or kept some documents, such as rough drafts of work products that are his. But, he said, all information pertinent to running the city was downloaded onto hard copy and placed into some 20 folders.
"If he [Stocker] is implying I destroyed city records, I take exception to that," Mamula said.
"If he wants to call me and tell me what he's looking for that is pertinent to the city, I'd be glad to tell him where it is, or try to reconstruct it if necessary," Mamula said.