Governor's office employee says security breach cost him his job
POSTED: Tuesday, July 12, 2011 - 3:29pm
UPDATED: Thursday, July 14, 2011 - 5:21pm
WATSON, La (NBC33) — A computer technician is frustrated after being placed on administrative leave earlier this year. That’s after he reported a breach in security at the governor’s office.
On March 28th, Jerry Wade, an IT network administrator, got to work for the governor’s office at 6 in the morning. When he arrived, he noticed that a hard drive had been pulled out of one of the main servers, the one that housed data for every employee in the governor’s office.
A quick check of the system, and a few questions for his co-workers, led him to contact the police. He told them that the security on that server had been breached.
State police quickly began an investigation. When they started asking questions, Wade says he felt like he had become their number one suspect.
“At first, I thought I was helping them,” he says, “but it definitely became what they would consider a light interrogation. It didn’t seem light to me.”
Wade couldn’t believe what was happening. “Everything, they felt, pointed to me doing it,” he explains. “They felt I was responsible for the security problems there. They felt I had dropped the ball. They said, ultimately, I was a threat to the governor and they had to remove the threat.”
Wade was placed on administrative leave that day. “I’m not allowed to go to the capitol. I’m not allowed to go to the governor’s floor. I’ve been there 13 years.”
Wade says the loss of the position started to take its toll. He began to feel like a criminal, even though he believes he never did anything wrong.
“The first month was a total nightmare,” he says. “I was looking at every car, every door, looking to see if it was them and they were coming to get me. It sounds silly now, but it’s the truth.”
Months later, Wade is still on leave and he can’t figure out why. “The character’s there. The integrity is there. I’ve been loyal to the governor’s office.”
He says no one can give him an explanation. “We’ve asked for one. On three, different occasions, I asked to take a polygraph test to exonerate myself. They said no.”
Wade says all he wants, now, are answers. “I would like to know why they felt I was a threat?” he demands. “Why did they remove me for no reason?”
State police say they did recommend to the governor’s office that Wade be replaced because of inconsistencies in his actions and statements during the investigation. They say they have no control over his employment status.
The investigation has been closed. It was inconclusive.