Fired Morgan County Jail warden arrested for tampering with government record
By Ashley Remkus
The fired Morgan County Jail warden who is accused of leaking information to a blogger now faces a misdemeanor charge of tampering with governmental records.
Blogger Comments: Folks, remember these words. Warden Bradley faces a misdemeanor charge of tampering with governmental records. There were no FELONY charges that Sheriff Franklin lied her butt off about. None.
Leon Bradley has been under investigation for about a year in connection with allegations he leaked sheriff's office records to Glenda Lockhart, a local woman who operates the Morgan County Whistleblower blog. The blog has for years been critical of Sheriff Ana Franklin and her office.
Bradley's charge was brought by the Etowah County Sheriff's Office, which was asked to investigate. Etowah County became involved after Franklin's deputies served a search warrant at Bradley's Decatur home and found more than 300 files, including employee, security and inmate documents, the sheriff said.
Blogger Comments: Leon Bradley had 300 working files at his home and the investigation turned up only one document that he allegedly had at his home that may have been sensitive. Where are the hundreds of FELONIES Franklin claimed Leon had committed?
"It's not that he was working at home," Franklin said. "There was information given to somebody outside law enforcement."
Franklin said Bradley first came under investigation by Morgan County when law enforcement-sensitive information began showing up on Lockhart's blog.
Blogger Comments: Let me be clear. This sheriff is a damn liar. Warden Bradley never gave me any sensitive data. If the sheriff is telling the truth why wasn't Warden Bradley charged with those crimes, instead of a simple misdemeanor? Every supervisor worth their weight takes their work home. By the way, where does Sheriff Franklin perform her work? How many documents, computers, and other sheriff's office information is sitting in her home right now?
Bradley, 62, was fired in October for violating sheriff's office policies. He had been the warden since 2003.
Court documents made public today do not suggest Bradley is charged with a crime for leaking documents, but rather for having the records. An arrest affidavit states: "A person commits the crime of tampering with governmental records if knowing he lacks the authority to do so, he intentionally destroys, mutilates, conceals, removes or otherwise substantially impairs the verity or availability of concealed records."
Blogger Comments: Folks, I can't say it enough. The Sheriff of Morgan County, Sheriff Ana Franklin is a liar. Warden Bradley wasn't charged with a crime of leaking documents because it is a lie. Will this sheriff ever stop lying? Yes. When she is safely locked behind prison walls. The documents Warden Bradley had at his home were working documents. Work is something Franklin knows nothing about.
"In according with this statute, Leon Bradley held under his control volumes of government records without legitimate authority," Etowah County Investigator Stephen McGlathery wrote in court records. "According to the MCSO Leon Bradley continued to maintain control of these records despite being directly ordered otherwise by the Morgan County Sheriff Ana Franklin."
Blogger Comments: At this point, it is too early to tell what will happen during Leon's hearing. Charges are one thing conviction is another.
Huntsville lawyers Nick Heatherly and Robert Tuten are representing Bradley.
"He maintains his innocence," Heatherly said. "He did not do anything wrong. He has been in law enforcement for years with an unblemished record until this."
The ex-warden declined to comment publicly.
The search warrants
Search warrants issued last October were used to seize computers, records and files from Bradley's home as well as Lockhart's business. Lockhart operated the blog from her personal computer that typically was kept at Straightline Drywall and Acoustical, LLC, a federal contractor that installs drywall and acoustical products. The business is located in Falkville, a small town in south Morgan County.
When sheriff's investigators examined Bradley's work email, they found he had been forwarding law enforcement documents to his personal email account, then passing them on to Lockhart, according to the search warrant.
Blogger Comments. Ho Hum...
The search warrants were signed by Circuit Judge Glenn Thompson. Lockhart has filed a federal lawsuit against the sheriff and several deputies, claiming "any basis presented to Judge Thompson for the seizure of Straightline and my computers was false and/or misleading. There was no possible legal basis for the taking, as Straightline nor I possess no work product of the Morgan County Sheriff's Department unless it was made publicly available and lawful to possess."
Blogger Comments: I think anybody who can read realizes that Sheriff Ana Franklin is nothing but a liar. The computers forensics Franklin had performed on my computers would have yielded an arrest had she been telling the truth. Sheriff Franklin is a liar.
Lockhart claims Franklin illegally gathered information for a search warrant by paying an informant to break-in, hack and steal data from her home and business offices.
Why did a blogger sue a sheriff who fired her jail warden?
The case is related to a blog called the Morgan County Whistleblower. For years, the blog has featured articles critical of Sheriff Ana Franklin.
The informant, Lockhart's grandson Daniel, said in a sworn statement that he was paid to install keylogger software on his grandmother's computer. The software was provided by the sheriff's office, he said in a November 2016 deposition.
Blogger Comments: It is obvious that Sheriff Franklin does not know the legalities of using informants. She violated every rule in the book. Maybe Franklin would like to tell our readers the tactics she used to get Daniel to betray his family.
Daniel Lockhart said he was approached in August 2016 by sheriff's deputy Sgt. Blake Robinson. Robinson, who worked with Daniel Lockhart at the Falkville Volunteer Fire Department, offered to pay him for gathering information about any sheriff's office employees who were providing information to the blog.
At the time, Daniel Lockhart, a 2016 graduate of Falkville High School in Morgan County, was 20 years old. He was working at his grandmother's business at the time and said he made a copy of a key he borrowed from her so he could get into the property after hours.
Glenda Lockhart (Courtesy photo) (Ashley Remkus | email@example.com)
In the statement, the 20-year-old said he took pictures of emails between his grandmother and the ex-warden, as well as correspondence she had with Chris Hendon, an FBI agent. Daniel Lockhart said he hacked his grandmother's Gmail account and the blog.
The keylogger software captured his grandmother's passwords, which Daniel Lockhart wrote down and gave to the sheriff's office, he claimed in the statement.
Glenda Lockhart has not been charged with a crime.
The criminal charge
According to the Etowah County investigative report, Bradley was told during a command staff meeting nearly two years earlier that he wasn't supposed to keep employee files. The sheriff said in a statement to investigators that she learned during that meeting that Bradley had been keeping employee documents in his office -- instead of in their official personnel files with Human Resources.
"Upon learning of this, I told Leon Bradley that no one was to have any employee files, documents or records pertaining to employees," Franklin wrote in a May 1, 2017 email to investigators.
Also present at the command staff meeting were Capt. Ron Livingston, Jail Administrator Larry Berzett and Chief Deputy Mike Corley. In emails to investigators, they also confirm Bradley was told at the meeting not to keep employee records, according to court documents.
The records mentioned during that meeting were among those found during the search of Bradley's home.
Blogger Comments: Sure! The sheriff tells Bradley all she said she did. The sheriff of Morgan County is a liar. The truth will come out.
Local prosecutors and judges are recusing themselves from the case. Alabama Attorney General Steve Marshal's Office is prosecuting Bradley. It's unclear when the case will be assigned to an outside judge.
If convicted, Bradley faces no more than a year in a county jail and a $6,000 fine. Bradley was booked into the jail this past Friday and released on $300 bail.