CHARLESTON, W.Va. — Clay County Sheriff Miles “Mike” Slack is facing federal wiretapping charges for allegedly trying to track activity on his ex-wife’s work computer.

His ex-wife, identified only as “Victim L.S.” in court filings, works in the Clay County Magistrate’s Office so her computer was owned and maintained through the state Supreme Court of Appeals.

U.S. Attorney Booth Goodwin said Slack installed a hidden keystroke logger on the woman’s computer in late April of this year when the two were still married and it stayed in place for more than two weeks, allowing messages and data to be intercepted.

With the device, everything that was typed was tracked.  At this point, investigators are not talking publicly about what Slack was trying to find out using his ex-wife’s computer activities.

This was a statute designed in the era of telephones, but now the technology has evolved and it applies equally to these sorts of communications,” said Goodwin.

Goodwin was a guest on Monday’s MetroNews “Hotline” shortly after charges against Slack, who took office in January of this year, were filed.

Whenever you have an alleged violation of the law by a public official, it’s troubling,” said Goodwin.  “But when it is a person who’s sworn to protect and serve, to uphold the law, it’s particularly troubling.”

The charges came out of an investigation that involved the Federal Bureau of Investigation, State Police and the state Supreme Court.  It’s an information filing which usually indicates a defendant is cooperating with investigators.

Despite the charges, Slack’s former wife, in a statement released Monday evening, said Slack is still a good man.

If convicted of federal wiretapping, Slack could be sentenced to five years in prison.

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Comments

  • David

    The wife should have used Zemana or KeyScrambler, they encrypt all keystrokes at the kernel level, so there's no way of getting keylogged, but I guess where it belongs to state, that wouldn't be possible for her to do.

  • Jonus Grumby

    It sounds like his wife's state owned computer had an administrator rights login which allowed an application to be installed. If that's the case I'm surprised. I would think user privileges would have been more appropriate which limits what can be installed on the computer. Perhaps I'm missing something.

  • Mac

    I'm curious as to how this plays out. The argument can be made that it is not wiretapping. He would have only had access to what she typed and not any other information on screen or messages typed to her. I would compare this more to planting a listening device in someone's office. Still illegal, and maybe it also falls under wiretapping, but it is certainly not the textbook definition of wiretapping.

    • WVIRGINIAN FOR LIFE

      Work computers all open with a banner that the user has no expectation of privacy while using the govt or corporate owned equipment. However, if he was not officially investigating or had official capacity to capture her keystrokes he should be charged, arrested and jailed. End of story.

  • Levelheaded

    He won't even lose his job, but if it were me they would lock me up and throw away the key. The sheriff should not have access to the magistrates office.

    • Larry

      I think he will lose his job, it will probably be one of those deals where he agrees to resign and never be a law enforcement officer again.

  • DWL

    “Whenever you have an alleged violation of the law by a public official, it’s troubling,” said Goodwin. Well maybe he should look at his superiors, like Holden and the magnificent O. They are the biggest liars, thieves, and murderers that exist.

  • Tim C

    He must have wondered what his wife was up to?

  • AX MAN

    He should have gone to the NSA, they would have saved him a lot problems.

  • RogerD

    Wait, he was just working for the NSA!