This story was on Channel 6 Action News last night!
Judge Takes Controversial Action
May 6, 2006 - The Delaware County's top judge wants to know how sensitive information is getting out, so he's taken matters into his own hands.
Fears of espionage at the Delaware County Courthouse...now revelations that the president judge had the building swept by ex-federal agents looking for bugging devices. Judge Kenneth Clouse has confirmed paying 2 former FBI agents nearly 2-thousand dollars to see if courthouse phones were tapped. Clouse, who was not available for comment, told a hi-level county official that too much sensitive information has been leaking out.
The judge's anti-bugging operation was done without the knowledge of the county council, which controls the purse strings, but does not monitor all the court's day-to-day business.
Judge Clouse has been under fire from a county political blog, which regularly rips republicans and Clouse in particular, on cases over which he presided and has included comments about his private life. Was he trying to shut down the leaks to a blogger known as Peter Porcupine?
Chairman Reilly and the president judge have clashed before and Reilly is not ready to sign off on this use of taxpayer's money.
2 thousand dollars out of a county budget of 400 million dollars may seem like a drop in the bucket but his story about leaks does provide a window into the kind of political gamesmanship and paranoia that are legend in Delaware County.
(Copyright 2006 by Action News. All Rights Reserved.)