Destruction of Hard Drives from Governor's Office Depletes State's Emergency Funds

JANUARY 19, 2007 - Posted at 7:54 a.m. CST

LITTLE ROCK (AP) - Former Governor Mike Huckabee spent the last money left in the governor's emergency fund to pay for smashing the hard drives of computers that had been used in his office. That's according to an article published in the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette today.

Yetserday, the Joint Budget Committee deadlocked over a request from Huckabee's successor, Governor Mike Beebe, for $500,000 to replenish the emergency fund after it was depleted by Huckabee.

That proposal failed to gain enough votes on the council, as did an alternative proposal to appropriate 250-thousand dollars for the fund. State Senator Shawn Womack, co-chairman of the committee, said he expects the proposal to come back to the panel sometime next week.

The Democrat-Gazette reported that Huckabee sent the Department of Information Systems the last $13,000 in the emergency fund. That was in response to an agency request for $25,000 to pay costs of closing out information systems for the governor's office.

Department of Information Systems Director Claire Bailey said hard drives for 83 computers and four servers were destroyed, or crushed, after some information was downloaded onto backup tapes. A memo from a DIS executive said that, before the drives were physically destroyed, they were wiped by writing over their memories.

(Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)