City officials in Sharon are left scratching their heads after the computers at the police department were reportedly “wiped clean” after the terminations of Police Chief Mark Kimsey and Officer Kenny Rodriquez.
One source told Martin Post reporters that they witnessed Alderman Jones at one of the police department’s computers opening programs following the board’s special-called meeting.
During the Citizen Input portion of Monday’s Board of Mayor and Aldermen meeting, former chief Kimsey questioned Jones about his activity on the police department’s computer. Jones stated that he did get on them “just to see what was on there” and that he was only “looking at icons” and not opening programs.
Mayor Stricklin announced the department’s computers were “wiped clean” the next day, following the board’s special-called meeting.
“How did that happen; we didn’t wipe it,” Jones stated during Monday’s meeting. Kimsey later told this reporter that if the computers were wiped the day after he left, how he could be accused of doing that.
Jones said several people were watching him as he watched Kimsey, “load up everything that he was supposed to leave there.”
Jones then stated that no one was accusing Kimsey of taking anything.
Kimsey raised questions Monday evening regarding missing equipment and purged data from the police department’s computers. Stricklin said that she couldn’t find in the system what their inventory was because their computers had been wiped clean and said, “We didn’t do that, someone else did.”
The mayor announced she had asked Kimsey to conduct an inventory in January for her and mentioned the auditors asked Kimsey to put together a list. She said she has never seen a list. Kimsey said he had a list on his desk.
Kimsey asked if she didn’t know what the inventory was, how did she know items were missing in the first place? Stricklin did not respond. Kimsey then asked if any of the items missing were items that Jones had rifled through the night he was leaving.
I don’t know why the safe was empty because it wasn’t empty when I left. Former Police Chief Mark Kimsey
Kimsey stated, “I didn’t have any department guns in my possession so I had no guns to turn in and I don’t know why the safe was empty because it wasn’t empty when I left.” He added there was a gun and ammunition in the safe when he left.
Regarding the “wiping” of the department’s computers, Stricklin said that Don Hopper, who she contacted to get in to get their computers back up stated, “I have repaired and built computers for over 40 years and in that timeframe, I have been asked to retrieve data from damaged or wiped computer hard drives many times. This process is complicated by many factors; with the new operating systems it gets more difficult to do as operating systems can be reset to factory settings, therefore making it almost impossible to retrieve data of any use. On the computers I examined they appeared to have been just reset to delete data and not to factory default, therefore data was saved during reset, but appears to have been later removed.” Stricklin said they are in the process of trying to get the computers up and running and aren’t sure what that expense will be at this time.
Multiple sources claimed to this reporter that Stricklin went to the District Attorney’s office to see about an investigation being opened against Kimsey, Rodriguez and Weaver prior to Monday night’s meeting, but the DA’s office has not commented on whether they have opened an investigation. The DA’s office was contacted with claims against Stricklin and the board.