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Forensic Audit Shows Agency’s Staff Used Their Work Computers for ‘Personal Gain’

Written by Will Brumleve

WATSEKA — Three former top-ranking officials in the Ford-Iroquois Public Health Department used their work computers for “personal use and personal gain” at least 70 percent of the time they were on them, a computer forensic expert revealed Wednesday, adding to the list of questionable conduct by ex-employees of the recently dissolved agency.

“These computers were rarely used, less than 30 percent of the time, for county business. They were used for personal business,” said Andrew R. Garrett of Decatur-based Garrett Discovery Inc.

Garrett delivered a report to the Iroquois County Board on Wednesday morning, detailing the findings of his examination of five computers used by former health department managers who, according to Chairman Rod Copas, resigned “under suspicious circumstances.”

Garrett said he was asked by Copas to examine copies of each computer’s hard drive for Internet usage, emails and deleted and overwritten files that showed “evidence of waste, fraud and abuse.”

Garrett said the computers he examined were those used by Doug Corbett, the agency’s administrator; Julie Clark, the health department’s public information/Freedom of Information Act officer; Cary Hagen, the agency’s financial coordinator; and Mary Cahoe, the home-health care program coordinator.

“Based on the evidence we reviewed, it appears as if Clark, Hagen and Corbett were using the government-owned computers for personal use and gain and possibly illegal and unethical activities,” Garrett wrote in a four-page report he prepared for the board.

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