Nevada County Supervisor Terry Lamphier issues statement regarding criminal investigation | TheUnion.com
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Nevada County Supervisor Terry Lamphier issues statement regarding criminal investigation

FULL TEXT OF STATEMENT

(Editor’s note: Statement released Thursday by Nevada County Supervisor Terry Lamphier through his attorney, Michael Rooney)

“The highly controversial and alarming situation I now find myself in began about a week ago, as follows. Our Nevada County assistant CEO, Ms. Alison Lehman, handed me an anonymous letter that had been dropped off to our County receptionist, stating no one had a description of the delivery person. The correspondence made no specific allegations, but implied improper use of a county computer.

“Ms. Lehman indicated that 24/7 system-wide Nevada County monitoring system had not raised any “red flags” of impropriety or improper use of my County computer.

“Last Friday, a search warrant was delivered to my home in Grass Valley. Cooperating fully with serving officers, and thanking the officers, I complimented them on the exercise of professionalism and courtesy. I was deeply shocked and distressed by the seriousness of the law enforcement visit.

“Friday evening, the potential gravity and seriousness of the situation indicated a need to engage an attorney but of course was unable to do so over the weekend.

“When the workweek commenced, so did the process of obtaining legal counsel. Returning in the evening home I observed a newspaper reporter interviewing my neighbor.

“Aware of the pitfalls in any legal situation and with an election looming, I chose not to either stop at my house or engage with the reporter unrepresented by counsel.

“Although not arrested, accused, or charged criminally, I have now secured legal services of the Rooney Law Firm, specifically, Michael M. Rooney.

“My direct response to the media releases follows here:

“On occasion, I have conducted international internet searches, placing a foreign country’s international domain registration letters into a web server’s search function. In most cases, the search term is simply two letters, for example, the United States is us and Russia is ru.

“When I conducted Internet searches, there is the option to have results filtered as to content, typically with a “strict”, “moderate” or “no filter” set of choices. Mine is set to “no filter”. There is no other set of search parameters involved by simply putting in a country’s domain registration and anything can come up.

“These benign actions are available to everyone throughout the United States and, to my knowledge, are nowhere near considered illegal actions. However, there is also no control as to what is returned in an unrestricted search.

“As for my personal actions, contrary to what is being alleged in the media, I have not used the search function to locate or access any illegal site.

“To reiterate: I have not proactively and knowingly “clicked on, visited, or downloaded” any inappropriate material from sites such as those referenced by local news agencies.

“I have confidence that as the matter proceeds, these distinctions will be recognized by law enforcement and there will be a quick and just resolution of this investigation.”

For the first time since learning he was the subject of a criminal investigation pertaining to the alleged possession of child pornography on county-owned computers, Nevada County Supervisor Terry Lamphier issued a statement Thursday through an attorney.

“I have not proactively and knowingly ‘clicked on, visited, or downloaded’ any inappropriate material from sites such as those referenced by local news agencies,” Lamphier said in the statement. “I have confidence that as the matter proceeds, these distinctions will be recognized by law enforcement and there will be a quick and just resolution of this investigation.”

On Monday morning, Nevada County CEO Rick Haffey confirmed that Lamphier was a subject of a criminal investigation, after the Nevada County Sheriff’s Office had acknowledged it had served a search warrant on Lamphier’s Grass Valley home and car on Oct. 25. In response to a joint public records request filed by The Union and YubaNet.com, sheriff’s office officials Tuesday released an Internet search history and web-page view history that was allegedly discovered on Lamphier’s computer.



“On occasion, I have conducted international Internet searches, placing a foreign country’s international domain registration letters into a web server’s search function,” Lamphier said in the statement released Thursday. “In most cases, the search term is simply two letters, for example, the United States is ‘us’ and Russia is ‘ru.’

“I have not proactively and knowingly ‘clicked on, visited, or downloaded’ any inappropriate material from sites … I have confidence that as the matter proceeds, these distinctions will be recognized by law enforcement and there will be a quick and just resolution of this investigation.”
Nevada County Supervisor Terry Lamphier
from statement released through attorney

“When I conducted Internet searches, there is the option to have results filtered as to content, typically with a ‘strict’, ‘moderate’ or ‘no filter’ set of choices. Mine is set to ‘no filter.’ There is no other set of search parameters involved by simply putting in a country’s domain registration and anything can come up.




“These benign actions are available to everyone throughout the United States and, to my knowledge, are nowhere near considered illegal actions. However, there is also no control as to what is returned in an unrestricted search.

“As for my personal actions, contrary to what is being alleged in the media, I have not used the search function to locate or access any illegal site.”

Lamphier said the “highly controversial and alarming situation I now find myself in began about a week ago,” when Nevada County Assistant CEO Alison Lehman handed him an anonymous letter that had been dropped off to a county receptionist and stated no one had a description of the delivery person.

“The correspondence made no specific allegations, but implied improper use of a county computer,” Lamphier said. “Ms. Lehman indicated that 24/7 system-wide Nevada County monitoring system had not raised any ‘red flags’ of impropriety or improper use of my County computer.

Lehman told members of the media Tuesday that the letter, addressed to Lamphier, was screened by a staff member as a matter of course. When the staff member saw the contents, which reportedly directed the reader to look at Lamphier’s Internet activity and mentioned inappropriate use of county equipment, the letter was turned over to Lehman.

“I notified the Sheriff’s Office and told staff to have Terry come see me,” Lehman said, adding the letter was provided to Lamphier on (Oct. 22). Lehman said she met with Lamphier on (Oct. 23) and subsequently recontacted the Sheriff’s Office, sparking the criminal investigation. Though Lehman declined to provide details on her conversation with Lamphier, she emphasized that she did not know the inappropriate activity on the computer was child porn until (Oct. 23).

“We found images of underage children after we secured his workplace computer,” Nevada County Sheriff Keith Royal said Tuesday. “There were many, many files.”

Royal said his staff downloaded the files and gave copies to detectives from the Major Crimes Unit, which is handling the investigation. Royal characterized the images as being of “very young girls.”

“Candidly, I would guess they were 6 to 10 years old,” he said, refusing to provide any more specifics. However, he did refer to the photos as child pornography.

Lamphier said in his statement Thursday that he cooperated with officers when the search warrant was served on his home Oct. 24.

“Last Friday, a search warrant was delivered to my home in Grass Valley,” Lamphier said. “Cooperating fully with serving officers, and thanking the officers, I complimented them on the exercise of professionalism and courtesy. I was deeply shocked and distressed by the seriousness of the law enforcement visit. … Friday evening, the potential gravity and seriousness of the situation indicated a need to engage an attorney but of course was unable to do so over the weekend.

“When the workweek commenced, so did the process of obtaining legal counsel. Returning in the evening home I observed a newspaper reporter interviewing my neighbor. Aware of the pitfalls in any legal situation and with an election looming, I chose not to either stop at my house or engage with the reporter unrepresented by counsel.

“Although not arrested, accused, or charged criminally, I have now secured legal services of the Rooney Law Firm, specifically, Michael M. Rooney.”

Lamphier, who lost his bid for reelection to the Nevada County Board of Supervisors in June, is a candidate for Grass Valley City Council in the Nov. 4 election. Lamphier did not attend Tuesday’s Board of Supervisors meeting.

Nevada County Undersheriff Joe Salivar said Tuesday the files in question will be sent to the Sacramento Valley High Tech Crimes Task Force to review and analyze and quantify the extent of the photo collection.

Royal said Tuesday the investigation could take weeks and added he planned to meet with the Federal Bureau of Investigation regarding whether the case would remain local or be taken by the feds. He said charges of possession of child porn — if filed following the investigation — could range from a misdemeanor to “a serious felony.”


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