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Williams' requested search of Russell's computer turns up little

Monday, Feb. 3, 2014 8:03 PM
Last updated Tuesday, Feb. 4, 2014 1:44 AM
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Commissioner Marion Williams’ search of fired Augusta Administrator Fred Russell’s computer turned up few documents, and Williams thinks someone on city staff may have helped Russell delete them.

Williams, who demanded access to the files for no specified reason last month, restricted his request to the last five years after city Information Technology and Law Department staff warned it would require a voluminous amount of time and labor to retrieve the information and redact personal data such as Social Security numbers.

But when the law department provided its response to his request, Williams said he was given a stack of paper about 3½ inches tall.

“It’s got about 100 things in there in five years,” he said. “Conversations between a couple of people. Everything else is gone.”

Georgia records retention laws require that all records created in the course of local government operations be retained for a certain amount of time, depending on their subject matter. E-mails of short-term interest with “no documentary or evidentiary value” might be discarded after 30 days. However, records involving capital projects, personnel, contracts or financial matters, even a simple travel reimbursement request, must be retained from a minimum of three years to permanently.

“There’s no e-mails from the mayor, the attorney, the finance people” in the response, Williams said.

Since his termination, Russell has begun a campaign to serve as Augusta’s next mayor. His campaign chairman said last week Russell would likely make an official announcement this week.

Williams said his request included all documents and correspondence, including documents and e-mails stored not just on Russell’s hard drive, but on city servers, and doubted Russell could have deleted all of it himself.

“They’ve done stepped into the big league and for whoever did it there ought to be some consequences,” Williams said, adding he has discussed the matter with law enforcement.

The Chronicle’s requests for comment on the documents and on Williams’ allegations from interim city administrator Tameka Allen, General Counsel Andrew MacKenzie and Russell were not answered Monday.

Comments (23) Add comment
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just an opinion
2720
Points
just an opinion 02/03/14 - 09:34 pm
6
2
Marion Williams should apply for a Cyber Command job

He could concentrate on Augustans that he feels like are hiding something.

Augz79
1083
Points
Augz79 02/04/14 - 01:38 am
5
3
Data recovery software?

Unless a heavy-duty program was ran to purge the hard drive (multiple re-writes, random data, etc.), the data still exists. The question would be if there is a legal reason to expend resources on the forensic work. The media has also not addressed whether the e-mails could be recovered from the city's e-mail server.

Williams is firing shots in the dark here, but you never know what could turn up. Even a broken clock is right twice a day.

corgimom
34196
Points
corgimom 02/04/14 - 02:46 am
3
4
So what did he take off the

So what did he take off the disc?

useful
695
Points
useful 02/04/14 - 03:09 am
9
2
maybe someone should take a

maybe someone should take a closer look at Mr Williams dealings.
someone with something to hide always tries to blames others.
Mr Williams may had his hard drive in his back pocket.

pja5529
2322
Points
pja5529 02/04/14 - 04:26 am
4
3
He deleted them himself

I saw on the news last night that he actually admitted to a reporter that he deleted the files himself because "he wanted to." He definitely has something to hide however he's fired now so this witch hunt should end and the commissioners need to concentrate on something else.

Establishment
64
Points
Establishment 02/04/14 - 05:11 am
7
2
Nothing to see here, move along people

Nothing to see here, people. Move along. Jobs, Growth, Puppies, Kittens. Countyman, I need a listing of new stores coming to the area, stat. Pay no attention to the empty hard drive, people. Jobs, Growth, Happy City. Move along people, nothing to see here.

wildman
1157
Points
wildman 02/04/14 - 05:51 am
7
3
Please

Please elect Fred Russel Mayor. You could charge admission to the weekly meetings and eliminate the budget deficit. You can't make this up. Please elect Fred Russell.

wildman
1157
Points
wildman 02/04/14 - 05:51 am
1
3
Please

Please elect Fred Russel Mayor. You could charge admission to the weekly meetings and eliminate the budget deficit. You can't make this up. Please elect Fred Russell.

Establishment
64
Points
Establishment 02/04/14 - 06:14 am
8
2
Nothing to see

Nothing to see people. Nothing to see. If anyone does see Marion Williams headed towards Fred Russell's office with a copy of Norton Utilities in his hand, contact Cyber Command immediately and let them know a mentally unstable gentleman is attempting to install malware on government property. Nothing to see here, people. Puppies, Kittens, Golf in the Spring, Jobs galore. Retail and Fast Food as far as the eye can see. Gosh I love Augusta. Nothing to see, people.

itsanotherday1
45482
Points
itsanotherday1 02/04/14 - 07:21 am
9
2
So, Marion is

So, Marion is directly/indirectly accusing Tameka Allen or someone in her department of collusion with Fred? Fred can't erase data from the server.

No, he looks the fool now and like a hit dog, it snapping at everything around him.

Have you ever heard the saying about someone being "too stupid to understand how stupid they are? "

seenitB4
90959
Points
seenitB4 02/04/14 - 08:43 am
5
5
I like the way the new poster thinks..

Nothing to see here, people. Move along. Jobs, Growth, Puppies, Kittens. Countyman

Funny:)

nocnoc
45073
Points
nocnoc 02/04/14 - 09:50 am
5
2
Think about it ---- Fred R. was Ex-Law Enforcement

Come on Commissioner,
Do you think he used Public Assets to conduct anything that could have hung him? or are you Show Boating or just deflecting attentions away from something?

Remember that thing called technology?
Most people now carry smart Phones around.
We have more computing power in our pockets than we had 10 years ago on our desks. Any Smart phone data (during employment), now that might be interesting to see.

CAN WE SEE YOUR'S?

The Desktop HD is not the issue.
What is now backed up and saved by Federal and OCGA Law on the ARC - IT Dept Data Recovery system for 6 years, is the interesting stuff.

AGAIN - CAN WE SEE YOUR'S

Regarding the Stated ARC Personal Privacy data issues.
Any mid-level IT Sysop can write a simple shell script data filter to scan a flat ASCII data file quickly, pinpoint and Mask SSN's.

We did it for years during corporate Investigations.
Typical commonly used search example:
"if [[ $x =~ [0-9]{3}-[0-9]{2}-[0-9]{4} ]]"

Checks data record element format.
1st 3 digits between 0-9 separated by a "-"
followed by 2 digits separated by a "-"
followed by a 4 digit pattern...
There is a lot more to the script but the process is simple to a mid-level IT Sysop

PrayN4U
358
Points
PrayN4U 02/04/14 - 09:57 am
2
4
Mayor Russell

They are not going to get what they are looking for. Mr. Williams know what he's looking for but the clean up is done. Why would Fred Russell even think he will become mayor after being fired under undesirable circumstances? Answer, It's a divide and concor tactic. He know he won't win but it will split votes.

JRC2024
9309
Points
JRC2024 02/04/14 - 10:46 am
2
1
knows not know

knows not know

owensjef3
5639
Points
owensjef3 02/04/14 - 11:20 am
3
7
This is a waist of everyone's
Unpublished

This is a waist of everyone's time. He has been fired already

Bizkit
33047
Points
Bizkit 02/04/14 - 11:27 am
4
2
"What difference does it make

"What difference does it make now?" and "another phony scandal". OK. It doesn't really matter if anything was illegal or not because ,in keeping with the best practices of Washington DC and the Obama regime, it doesn't matter. Everyone gets a free pass from now on. Time to move on-period.

owensjef3
5639
Points
owensjef3 02/04/14 - 11:32 am
2
5
What does Obama have to. Oh
Unpublished

What does Obama have to. Oh never mind.

Bizkit
33047
Points
Bizkit 02/04/14 - 11:42 am
4
2
It's a joke owens-lighten up.

It's a joke owens-lighten up.

Lorraine
140
Points
Lorraine 02/04/14 - 12:00 pm
4
1
Deleting Files From A Government Computer

It does make a difference now. Why move along without conducting a thorough inquiry into this matter? First of all, Fred Russell was out of line for deleting files from a government computer's hard drive. Apparently, the former administrator has someting to hide. Otherwise, there would be no need to delete files. Consequently, breaking the law.

allhans
24011
Points
allhans 02/04/14 - 12:01 pm
3
1
Russell admits that he

Russell admits that he cleared the hard drive, so I have to ask.
Just to be ornery -or did he have something to hide?

itsanotherday1
45482
Points
itsanotherday1 02/04/14 - 12:20 pm
4
0
Anything he had would be

Anything he had would be mirrored on the server, if normal protocol is in place. He can't delete it from the server. Easy for them to check, and I believe Ms. Allen has.

itsanotherday1
45482
Points
itsanotherday1 02/04/14 - 12:21 pm
3
0
Russell admitted to deleting

Russell admitted to deleting SOME files he felt were not pertinent to the administrators records; he didn't wipe the drive.

Sweet son
10747
Points
Sweet son 02/04/14 - 12:48 pm
2
0
Maybe Fred had someone in IT work on his hard drive as well

as the servers that stored his junk. Wouldn't that be interesting?

ColdBeerBoiledPeanuts
9175
Points
ColdBeerBoiledPeanuts 02/04/14 - 04:38 pm
5
1
Maybe it was a CYA attempt

Maybe what Marion is looking for isn't a record of what Fred did but what Marion did!! Think on that. I don't think Mr. Speedway Snacks is totally innocent...

Gage Creed
17863
Points
Gage Creed 02/04/14 - 07:27 pm
2
0
I wonder how thick Marion

I wonder how thick Marion Williams stack of delinquent tax notices is?

I'm certain it would be a "waist" for a normal citizen to try and "concur" that question.

dickworth1
954
Points
dickworth1 02/04/14 - 07:27 pm
2
2
paper
Unpublished

I suspect marion Williams could not read 3.5 inches of paper in a month. That's not 3.5 sheets, maybe 600 sheets!

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