Attorney says former sheriff went too far

Former sheriff Bruce Daniels testified as to the process taken when he and members of the county information technology staff used deputy Steve Bowers’ county-issued email address to recover a password to Bowers’ personal online data storage service subscription and search for department case files. While the state claims they were correct because the email was work issued, Bowers’s attorney argued this is the same as entering a home and searching it without a warrant just because they had a key.
Steve Bowers’ attorney says county did illegal search of online account

A Taylor County deputy facing felony misconduct charges was back in court on Tuesday morning.
Steve Bowers has been on paid administrative leave from the Taylor County Sheriff’s Department since February 2017 over the unauthorized release of case files, relating to an unsolved murder investigation, to a true crime television program.
In October 2017, the State of Wisconsin filed the two felony charges against Bowers alleging he exceeded his authority in releasing the case files which included case information from the state Department of Criminal Investigations (DCI). In November 2017, the county personnel committee took administrative action against Bowers for the same incident, demoting him from detective sergeant to a patrol position and suspending him without pay for two months. Following the suspension, Bowers has been on paid leave from the sheriff’s department pending the outcome of the criminal case. Bowers currently lives in Wausau.
At a motion hearing before judge Robert Russell at the Taylor County courthouse on Tuesday, Bowers’ attorney Rick Cveykus argued that electronic files found on his client’s DropBox account should be suppressed because the county did not have a search warrant to access the files.
DropBox is an online cloud-based storage system that people pay a monthly fee to subscribe to and use. Bowers set up and pays for the account. However, the email account for the username is his county-issued email account.

See this week's issue of The Star News for the full story.

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