July 17, 2024 Donate

Community, Dexter, Dexter Government, Government, Michigan, Scio Township, Washtenaw County

Charges Filed in Scio Township Computer Access Investigation

Charges have been filed in the investigation of the Scio Township Hall situation involving computer access, an email message and a calendar invitation.

The Sun Times News (STN) followed up with the Washtenaw County Sheriff’s Office (WCSO) and was told in the case connected with current township board trustee, supervisor candidate and resident Jillian Kerry charges have been filed for the offense of Felony Invade Privacy and Interfering with Electronic Communications.

The WCSO told STN that next steps would include a Preliminary (Probable Cause) Exam in the court system and from there a trial.

STN reached out to Kerry to ask her about this.

She issued this statement:

“On June 20, 2024, I was arraigned in 14A District Court in Washtenaw County on charges of using a computer to commit a crime. According to the complaint, this alleged crime occurred on November 15, 2023, at 827 North Zeeb Road. That is the location of Scio Township Hall, where I proudly serve as a Trustee of Scio Township and Chair of the Road Advisory Committee. I am completely astonished and distressed by these unfair charges, which are baseless and untrue. I have been a proponent for the honest citizens of Scio Township, helping with their grievances, rooting out issues, fighting for transparency and advocating for good governance for years. My efforts have made some entrenched forces in the Township very uncomfortable. Before getting involved in my community, I was a stay- at- home mom, juggling self-employment and raising three beautiful daughters. I am grateful to have been blessed and now enjoy having my first granddaughter. I am a 57-year-old woman with a spotless record. Until receiving these unfounded charges, I have never been in trouble with the law nor arrested or charged with a crime in my life. It is very distressing that these charges have been brought on the eve of the upcoming August 6th primary. I am going to vigorously defend myself with the truth and have complete faith that the judge or jury will exonerate my good name. Regardless of this unfounded distraction occurring in the middle of my campaign for Supervisor, I will continue my consistent public service for the residents in my Scio Township community.”

In looking back at this situation, STN was told late last year by Scio Township Supervisor Will Hathaway that there is an investigation by the office of the sheriff and an internal Township review of someone trespassing into his Scio email account.

An internal review by the township was conducted, in addition to the separate Washtenaw County Sheriff investigation.

In late November, the township board authorized the Township Manager “to conduct an administrative review of the causes of how on November 15, 2023 the Clerk received one email message from the account whathaway@sciotownship.org, and the Planning Coordinator received one calendar invitation from the account whathaway@sciotownship.org, without the Supervisor having knowledge of having sent these. The administrative review may also include recommendations to the Township regarding procedures and policies to prevent such events in the future.”

The township worked with N1Discovery to conduct the review. A report was issued afterward.

The executive summary of the report stated:

“N1 Discovery (“N1 D”) was retained by Township of Scio (hereafter “Client”) to assist with the collection and forensic investigation of one (1) Dell Latitude laptop (hereafter the “Shared Dell Laptop”) and various Microsoft Office 365 (“0365”) log files related to this matter. N1 D was advised by Client that the Shared Dell Laptop had a shared account named “Meeting Host” utilized by multiple users to access and schedule Zoom meetings.”

“Per Client, on November 15, 2023 at 6:08 PM (hereafter date of “Email Incident”), an email was sent with the subject of “FW: EXTERNAL RE: Election Commission packet is posted” from the email account “WHathaway@ScioTownship.org”, which was assigned to Will Hathaway (hereafter “Hathaway Email Account”). Mr. Hathaway reported that he did not send the email.”

“Client informed N 1 D that Jillian Kerry, a township employee who is also a user of the Shared Dell Laptop, requested assistance from Ian Hubert while accessing the Shared Dell Laptop on November 15, 2023. While providing support, Ian Hubert identified that the Hathaway Email Account was still logged into the Outlook desktop application on the Shared Dell Laptop.”

“If additional digital forensic analysis work is performed or relevant information becomes available, N1 D may revise, amend, or supplement this report.”

As part of the report’s summary of findings it stated it is undetermined how the alleged meeting invite was sent and undetermined what action occurred that caused the email in question to be sent.