Friday, December 20, 2013
*Joint Release from the CCSO and Clay County Clerk of Court*
December 20, 2013
Former Information Technology (IT) Director Arrested
Today, the CCSO arrested 37-year-old Michael J. Hamilton of Green Cove Springs and charged him with grand theft, dealing in stolen property and false verification of ownership. He is held on a total bond of $45,000. Hamilton is the former IT Director for the Clay County Clerk of Court. He was terminated by Clerk of Court Tara Green last week under suspicion of misconduct and shortly afterwards became the subject of an investigation lead by the CCSO. Hamilton was hired as the IT Director on 1/31/13 and served in that position until his termination. His only prior arrest in Clay County is for driving with a suspended license.
The charges filed against him today by CCSO detectives are based on the most recent incidents of theft/pawn of stolen county property. Multiple additional charges are likely as detectives believe dozens of computers and electronics were taken over the span of several months. The investigation into Hamilton’s illegal activities involving county-owned electronics and computer equipment is ongoing. Detectives are in the process, with the cooperation of local pawn shops, of analyzing months of pawn slips seeking verification of dozens of pawned items taken by Hamilton from the Clerk of Court office. Detectives believe some items were pawned multiple times and many items have either been recovered or returned. Other items were located still at pawn shops in our county. Some items were sold and may not be recovered. A search of his home (3205 Ryans Court) and vehicle will be conducted to determine if any additional equipment can be recovered. A complete inventory of clerk of court equipment is underway to assess the total number of missing items.
Clerk of Court Tara Green brought her suspicions to the attention of our agency. Her staff is assisting with the ongoing investigation as well. “As our IT Director, Hamilton had access to all types of equipment. He took advantage of the trust and security access that was given him”, Green said. “He was put in charge of an important renovation of our IT server room and the ordering of new computers for our employees and saw that as a chance for theft. Due to the security measures in place, his actions did not jeopardize public information which remains secure,” Green added.
At this time, the exact motive for his crimes is unknown. An exact dollar figure on the total number of stolen items is not yet known. Additional information will be provided as it becomes available. Thank you,
Mary Justino, CCSO Public Affairs