From the Sun-Sentinel-
Investigators looking into Hollywood Commissioner Keith Wasserstrom's role in helping a company win an $18 million sludge-handling contract peeked into his computer in 2005 and saw nothing.Here is another blog post of mine on the sludge story.
A computer crash wiped everything out, Wasserstrom's attorney explained this week.
According to reports released this week, the Broward State Attorney's Office ordered a search of Wasserstrom's computer seeking any information about his alleged involvement in helping Schwing Bioset win the contract with the city.
But Wasserstrom's Maxtor 40GB hard-drive inside his law firm's computer was apparently wiped clean, according to a U.S. Treasury investigator who checked the computer on April 29, 2005. The State Attorney's office asked the Treasury Department's Miami-Dade County forensics lab to conduct the probe.
"[Hard-drive] appeared wiped and does not contain any data," wrote the investigator, Jim Greene. His report did not elaborate on the meaning of "wiped."
This is the second time a Hollywood city official said computer records sought by prosecutors were lost.
Last month, city records revealed Mayor Mara Giulianti lost a series of e-mails exchanged with Arnold Goldman, a key figure in the sludge deal who was once married to Wasserstrom's aunt.
Prosecutors on Oct. 10 charged Wasserstrom with four counts of official misconduct and one count of unlawful compensation, all felonies, for his role in the sludge deal. He has pleaded not guilty and was suspended by Gov. Jeb Bush.
Wasserstrom's attorney, Larry Davis, said his client returned from Israel in June 2004 and discovered his computer had crashed and lost six months worth of files. He added Wasserstrom sent the hard-drive to two repair shops to no avail.
Paul Henry, senior vice president of Secure Computing, an international computer safety firm based in San Jose, Calif., said information could still be extracted even after a crash.
"When [the Treasury Department] says a hard-drive was wiped, it usually means a wiping utility program was used several times," he said.
Wasserstrom is clever. He got a utility program to clean up his dirty work. I guess prosecutors will have to find other evidence. For right now, all they would have Wasserstrom for is violating Florida Sunshine laws. I doubt he'd do a day in jail for that.
Linked to- Bullwinkle Blog, Bright & Early,