Madison - St. Clair Record

Thursday, September 19, 2019

Prenzler asks State's Attorney to investigate former administration's data wipe

By Record News | Mar 15, 2017

Madison County Board Chairman Kurt Prenzler has asked State’s Attorney Tom Gibbons to investigate data destruction by former chairman Alan Dunstan and former administrator Joseph Parente.

"The destroyed information includes county documents that were subject to retention under state law and court order,” Prenzler wrote to Gibbons on March 15.  

According to a press release, Prenzler presented a notice of record preservation to Parente on Nov. 15.

Prenzler defeated Dunstan in the Nov. 4 general election.  

According to the release, an employee about to leave must make a copy of the hard drive and place it on the county server.  

The release traced the discovery of destruction to current Treasurer Chris Slusser, who took the office after voters promoted Prenzler to chairman.  

According to the release, Slusser asked administrator Doug Hulme and information director Rob Dorman what to do with computers in storage marked “FBI.”  

The press release states those computers were used in the case of former treasurer Fred Bathon, who served prison time for rigging bids at auctions of delinquent taxes.  

It further states that Hulme told Dorman to segregate information on the hard drives and save it for freedom of information requests. Hulme then told Dorman to do the same for computers that Dunstan and Parente used.  

The release quoted Dorman saying, “Mr. Dunstan’s computer had little profile data and Mr. Parente’s hard drive was completely blank.”  

Prenzler has sent the hard drives to Data Tech Labs Recovery of Denver, specialists in recovering government data.  

The release states that the county had received a request for information stored on the computers.

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