Former Clay Co., WV sheriff speaks out, pleads guilty to wiretap - WBOY.com: Clarksburg, Morgantown: News, Sports, Weather

UPDATE: New sheriff named after Clay County sheriff pleads guilty to wiretapping charge

Posted: Updated:
Former Clay Co. Sheriff Miles Slack pleaded guilty to a wiretapping charge Tuesday. Former Clay Co. Sheriff Miles Slack pleaded guilty to a wiretapping charge Tuesday.
Garrett Samples was named as the new Clay County, WV sheriff. Garrett Samples was named as the new Clay County, WV sheriff.
CHARLESTON, WV -

UPDATE:

The Clay County Commission announced a new sheriff after the previous sheriff was charged with wiretapping and resigned.

Garrett Samples will become sheriff on Oct 1.  Samples was chosen following a controversy over the previous sheriff Miles Slack putting a keystroke logger on his ex-wife's work computer.  The computer is owned by the state Supreme Court.    Slack pleaded guilty on Sept. 17 to the charges.

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ORIGINAL:

Former Clay County Sheriff Miles J. Slack pleaded guilty Tuesday to illegal wiretapping after he placed a keystroke logging device on his then-wife's work computer.

Slack, 47, appeared before U.S. District Judge John Copenhaver, where Slack admitted he attempted to monitor his ex-wife's computer activity where she works at the Clay County Magistrate's Office. That computer is owned by the state Supreme Court.

The former sheriff stated he hacked the computer between April 22 and May 6 while the couple was filing for divorce.

"Unfortunately, I went through a bad time," said Slack, who submitted his resignation Friday.

A group of family members came to the federal courthouse to support Slack.

"He's not a bad person, he's a wonderful human," said his sister, Sonja Murphy. "He just does things like other people and makes mistakes."

Several Clay County commissioners also attended the hearing.

Slack captured financial and court data, among other information, while using a keystroke logger, according to U.S. Attorney Booth Goodwin.

"It's an incredible invasion of privacy and that's why these wiretapping statues exist," Goodwin said.

A keystroke logger resembles a USB drive and tracks every move made on a computer.

The activity Slack monitored included his then-wife's passwords, usernames, and chat room conversations.

After his hearing, Slack apologized to the people who elected him.

"I have a lot of friends and I really do appreciate the trust they put in me," Slack said.

Slack's ex-wife released a statement after the plea hearing through her attorney, Daniel Armstrong. In the release, Armstrong asked that Slack's ex wife be referred to as L.S.

According to the statement, L.S. said she knew Slack would take responsibility for his actions but hopes he doesn't go to jail because resigning and living with the loss of respect would be enough punishment.

"I am relieved that Miles has taken responsibility for his actions today," the statement reads. "I am saddened that Mile's wrongdoing has cost him the job as sheriff that he has wanted for years."

Slack will be sentenced December 19 at 1:30 p.m. He could face up to five years in prison.