County auditor's computer records released by prosecutor

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Cape Girardeau County Prosecuting Attorney Morley Swingle has released approximately 200 pages of documents reflecting Internet access on the computer on County Auditor David Ludwig's desk. The documents are a portion of what the Southeast Missourian requested last month under the Sunshine Law.

"Your request for action taken by the [Cape Girardeau County Commission] regarding any complaint and any communications between the auditor and elected officials about the county auditor would still be considered closed records at this point," Swingle wrote.

The records indicated Ludwig allegedly violated the county's computer-use policy for more than a year. He was elected county auditor in 2002.

Swingle released the files along with his letter explaining his decision.

"There is no log of Internet policy violations, but there is a record pertaining to two complaints. Both involve David Ludwig," he wrote.

The documents include reports provided by the county's information technology director, Eric McGowen, tracking the amount of time the computer was used to access the Internet, a list of Web addresses visited and images downloaded.

Last year and again this year, on multiple occasions Ludwig's computer was used to download dozens of images of actress Pamela Anderson.

The Southeast Missourian will report in detail on the contents of these documents after they have been reviewed. The full text of Swingle's letter in response to the Southeast Missourian's Sunshine Law request for documents is at

-- Peg McNichol

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