WATSEKA — The Iroquois County Board is expected to hear a report next week from a forensic expert who has examined 23 computers used by former employees of the now-dissolved Ford-Iroquois Public Health Department.
Andrew Garrett of Decatur-based Garrett Discovery Inc. has spent the past two months extracting the Internet and email history from the computers, looking for evidence of misuse and fraud.
Garrett told the Paxton Record on Monday that he expected to be finished with the work on Tuesday. Board Chairman Kyle Anderson of Beaverville said the preliminary results will be unveiled to the board during a special meeting of the policy and procedure committee sometime next week, likely either on Feb. 19 or Feb. 20.
Early indications are that the results will be similar to what was gleaned through Garrett’s initial examination last year of five computers used by former health department managers. That work was done by Garrett free of charge.
In November, Garrett presented a report that revealed some former health department managers had used their work computers for "personal use and gain and possibly illegal and unethical activities" at least 70 percent of the time they were on them. Among the findings was that the health department’s former administrator, Doug Corbett, used his work computer to download pornography.
"He didn’t tell me a whole lot about (what the findings were for this newest forensic audit)," Anderson told the policy and procedure committee last week. "But fresh off the top of his head, he said that approximately 50 and 90 percent of the time that (employees) were on the Internet was not work-related.
"Ninety, that’s a lot. Fifty, that’s a lot. We’ll find out shortly. ... Hopefully, this will be coming to an end here real soon."
Garrett’s examination of the computers is being done in preparation for the board possibly asking State’s Attorney Jim Devine to prosecute some former health department employees.
"It will be up to the board," Anderson said. "Anything we get, we’ll turn over to the state’s attorney, and he’ll turn around and give (the information) to the state appellate prosecutor’s office. And they’ll pursue it if it’s anything criminal."
In December, the board approved spending up to $5,650 to have the computers examined by Garrett. Garrett has said the $5,650 fee would provide "a full forensic analysis" that would "satisfy all rules" and be acceptable for use in criminal court.
Anderson said last week that Garrett has put in quite a bit of work.
"He’s thankful we’re being patient," Anderson said last week. "He said each computer has taken him between anywhere from five to 40 hours to go through. I’m not a professional at it — I have no idea — but 40 seems like a lot by the time you do 18 computers."