Grand jury to be seated in iPad/iPhone theft case
Apr 14, 2012 (Florida Keys Keynoter - McClatchy-Tribune Information Services via COMTEX) --
A Monroe County grand jury will be empanelled this week to investigate the theft of county-owned iPads and iPhones.
However, its work will be delayed because telecommunications giant AT&T hasn't produced records that need to be presented to the panel, which can hand up criminal indictments and issue recommendations on the matters it probes.
The State Attorney's Office has subpoenaed AT&T for billing and technical information in an effort to match specific iPads and iPhones with the people that have them.
"We still don't have the material we need," State Attorney Dennis Ward said. "They've got until the 20th" to comply with the subpoena.
Lisa Druckemiller, the county's former technical services administrator, stands accused of stealing the electronics -- at least four dozen total -- and then selling them, including to county employees.
County Administrator Roman Gastesi has admitted paying Druckemiller cash for two iPads and two iPhones. Senior systems analyst Hank Kokenzie admitted paying cash for three iPads and two iPhones.
Assistant State Attorney Mark Wilson, who handles public corruption cases, said the current 21-member grand jury's term, six months, expires Tuesday.
"We've got a whole new group coming in on Tuesday," Ward said, "and we'll select them from that." Of the 21, 15 comprise a quorum, and only 12 votes are needed to issue an indictment.
Druckemiller said she's unfairly the sole focus of the ongoing legal probe and vaguely implicated seven others as complicit, including Gastesi and Kokenzie. Also in the mix is Deputy County Administrator Debbie Frederick. Druckemiller allegedly ran up $20,000 on Frederick's credit card without permission, although both maintain that's a personal matter and unrelated to the technology situation.
The iPads and iPhones involved are conservatively valued around $15,000.
Druckemiller, a 31-year county employee, resigned Feb. 24; she earned $75,489 annually.
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