Norman Alderman Arrested For Possession Of Confidential Computer Data
Marlinton, WV – Former Pocahontas County Commissioner Norman Alderman was arrested on Thursday, October 28th and charged with felonious possession of confidential computer information that is the property of the Pocahontas County Board of Education.
Alderman worked as a technology consultant for the Board of Education for several years. In this capacity, he had access to information about students and teachers, including social security numbers, birthdates, information about handicapped children, test scores, and students who qualified for free or reduced meal programs. Alderman admitted that he had made backup copies of this information while employed by the board.
Four years ago, he was fired from that job for insubordination. But when Alderman left, he apparently took this information with him. According to the criminal complaint filed by the Board of Education on Wednesday, Alderman freely admitted that he possessed this information to Pocahontas County Prosecuting Attorney Donna Meadows-Price and in written motions filed in Pocahontas Magistrate court. He also made the same admission via a video on his website, etater.com.
The Board of Education says this information is extremely confidential, should not have under any circumstances been retained by Alderman, and should have been returned upon his termination. The arrest warrant also includes a complaint from Rebecca Clayton, a former teacher with the Board of Education. She’s concerned that the data obtained by Alderman could include her personal information.
The charge is a felony that carries with it the possibility of a 10 year jail sentence and up to $10,000.00 in fines.
Alderman was at the County Courthouse on Thursday to retrieve his computer and other electronic records seized after he was arrested for harassment and stalking in early August. The arrest warrant was signed by Pocahontas Magistrate Kathy Beverage, who requested recusal from the case the next day. At a hearing on October 25th, Special Magistrate Charles Beard determined that Beverage was not impartial when she signed the warrant, and dismissed the case without prejudice.
Thursday, Alderman was charged once again with those misdemeanors under a new search warrant. He’s accused of harassment by computer of Pocahontas County Commissioner David Fleming and of encouraging others to physically monitor the whereabouts of the Commissioner.
Both arrest warrants were signed by Circuit Court Judge Joseph Pomponio. Alderman was released on a $10,000.00 property bond on the felony charge, and personal recognizance bonds on the misdemeanors.