Editorials

It takes some incredible tape to secure a government filing cabinet

Madison County State’s Attorney Tom Gibbons posted a “no trespassing” notice on the door of his office after what he believes was a break-in. At least two other offices were entered.
Madison County State’s Attorney Tom Gibbons posted a “no trespassing” notice on the door of his office after what he believes was a break-in. At least two other offices were entered. bhundsdorfer@bnd.com

During the McCarthy era, they were seeing a commie under every bed. During the Prenzler era, they are seeing a Republican in every filing cabinet.

Two of Madison County’s Democratic elected leaders and the county credit union are reporting break-ins. They do not name names or point fingers, but they do note the break-ins started 10 days after Madison County Chairman Kurt Prenzler took office to end decades of Democratic domination.

They note that a master key may have been used. They’ve already ruled out the cleaning crew, sort of like St. Clair County Circuit Clerk C. Barney Metz once being sure the cleaning crew was honest before discovering 151 guns used in crimes were taken from his office.

The most troubling issue was that loan applications for Madison County’s credit union were possibly accessed in a filing cabinet. What MacGyver ingenuity was needed to access an identity thief’s treasure trove?

Open the drawer, secured by a piece of tape.

Prenzler later said the “break-ins” were checked against courthouse security footage and reviewed by Edwardsville police. He said there was no evidence of burglars, but there was evidence that the keypad combinations for accessing several of the offices had not been changed in years and the same master keys had been around for 25 years with little inventory control.

Regardless of whether the blame rests with Watergate burglars, someone bringing their rowdy kid to work on the weekend, would-be thieves or imagination, Madison County leaders got a wake-up call. Cabinets that lock, security cameras within offices, changing keypad codes regularly and and maybe changing the locks are long overdue.

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