[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index]

[ISN] Election Commission laptop harddrive found


By Amanda N. Maynord
Nashville City Paper
January 21, 2008

Metro Police confirmed late Thursday they have recovered the hard drive 
from the laptop computer, containing names and complete Social Security 
numbers for 337,000 registered voters, that was stolen from the Election 
Commission in December.

Police said Election Commission staff viewed and confirmed the 
information stored on the seized hard drive came from the stolen 
computer that gave them the most concern.

Officials did not disclose where the hard drive, a router and other 
computer components were found, citing the ongoing investigation. Police 
do not yet know if any of the other seized equipment including 
additional hard drives came from a second malfunctioning laptop also 
stolen from the Election Commission.

Computer experts have begun the process of examining the files and data 
components to determine if they have been accessed or tampered with, 
according to police.

Detectives are vigorously pursuing leads and expect to make additional 
arrests in the case, according to a news release.

The main suspect in the case, Robert Osbourne, admitted to police 
Thursday that he broke into the Davidson County Election Commission Dec. 

Osbourne, 45, is believed to be homeless, according to police, and has 
been in and out of the Union Rescue Mission in recent weeks.

He is a parolee with convictions beginning in the 1980s. He was 
sentenced to nine years in 2004 for a theft of property conviction in 
Marshall County and released on parole Oct. 30, 2007.

Osbourne was arrested in Nashville as recently as Jan. 4 for 
trespassing. He received a four-day sentence. And on Jan. 7, Osbourne 
received a state misdemeanor citation for possession of drug 

Police said early in the investigation that DNA evidence was recovered 
at the crime scene, and in a press conference Wednesday said that DNA 
was linked to Osbourne, helping them pinpoint the suspect.

Metro Council members and state legislators have been calling for an 
increased examination into security measures at the Election Commission 
and other Metro buildings since the break-in.

Mayor Karl Dean received a security inventory of every Metro department 
Monday and is analyzing the results, according to spokesperson Janel 

The security company that contracts with Metro to provide guards, 
Wackenhut Corp., is facing at least one lawsuit to cover damages caused 
by the break-in in the amount of $100,000. At least one security guard 
has been fired following the break-in.

The city is also offering free identity theft protection for one year 
for the 337,000 registered voters who had their information stolen. 
Letters should be reaching voters no later than the end of this week 
with instructions on how to sign up for the service.

Metro stands to pay at least $1 million for the service out of reserve 

Osbourne is being held in the Metro jail in lieu of $80,000 bond.

Subscribe to InfoSec News