NewsChannel 5 Investigates: Friends in High Places
Agents Say Ganier Deleted More Evidence
(Story created: 1/6/05)
There's even more trouble for a friend of former Gov. Don Sundquist. It's the latest in our Friends in High Places investigation of insider state contracts. This time, the trouble comes in the form of new evidence.
Al Ganier is now awaiting trial for allegedly trying to obstruct the federal investigation of contracts given to the governor's friends.
He arrived at the federal court house Thursday afternoon, not long after he learned about the new evidence.
The friend of the governor founded Education Networks of America. That company provides Internet service to Tennessee schools and received close to $200 million in state contracts.
Ganier had already been indicted for deleting 11 documents relating to those contracts from his secretary's computer.
Now, prosecutors say they've recovered new evidence from his own desktop computer -- evidence that he deleted eight contract-related documents.
They also reportedly found evidence that he deleted four documents from his laptop computer.
But his attorney says they weren't really deleted.
"The government says that Mr. Ganier -- a businessman who is very computer literate -- has somehow violated the law because he's put them in a recycle bin. I'm hard pressed to understand the theory of their case," Aubrey Harwell told chief investigative reporter Phil Williams.
"Most people are deleting when they put things in a recycle bin," Williams replied.
"Most people [who] are deleting put them in a recycle bin," Harwell said. "But someone as literate as you are understands one can go to a recycle bin and bring documents back."
Prosecutors say they may bring a new indictment against Ganier that includes the new evidence.
Right now, Ganier's trial is set to begin March 29th.