Members of Madison County State’s Attorneys Tom Gibbons’ corruption task force Tuesday evening raided the county’s Freedom of Information Office and took Freedom of Information requests made to the county, including those made by the BND.
Andrew Esping, the county’s FOIA officer, confirmed task force members took the county’s FOIA log, which contains requests from the public and press for public information. Esping said Wednesday the log was kept on paper and digitally.
The raid occurred at 8:36 p.m. Tuesday.
As of Wednesday morning, those logs were not available for public inspection.
“I am concerned about the county’s ability to provide public information as a result of this seizure,” Esping said.
Two computers and file folders were taken, County Board Chairman Kurt Prenzler confirmed.
“It happened when no one was here,” said Information Technology Director Rob Dorman.
The BND last week requested information regarding a personnel complaint made by one of Gibbons’ employees about Kevin Hendricks, a supervisor in Gibbons’ office.
Hendricks is the subject of a federal lawsuit by former employee Andrew Kane, who alleged Hendricks harassed him, fired him, then assigned him to a remote location after an arbitrator returned him to work.
Hendricks is on paid leave.
This is the second raid by a special task force created by Gibbons. A raid earlier this month resulted in computers being seized in the county’s IT department, the public relations department and from County Administrator Doug Hulme’s office.
A grand jury met last Thursday, but no charges have been issued. Esping was issued a subpoena to appear before the grand jury at 9 a.m. Thursday.
Gibbons said Wednesday he cannot comment but looks forward to doing so at a later time.
On Wednesday, a motion was filed on behalf of Prenzler, Dorman and Hulme asking the county to pay for legal representation for them.
The motion states that they had sought counsel from Gibbons’ office, but “the state’s attorney has refused to discuss the search warrant or the grand jury subpoena or provide any representation, advice or counsel to the petitions or their counsel or other county officers and employees. ...”