Digital Forensics Dispatch

Digital Forensics Blog
by Sensei Enterprises, Inc.

Court Orders Forensic Investigation of Stubborn State Board Member’s Devices

August 2, 2022

Political wrangling in Wisconsin has caused a Dane County Circuit Judge to order the review of Frederick Prehn’s devices according to an article on the Milwaukee Sentinel Journal website

A member of the State’s Board of Natural Resources, Prehn’s term actually ended in back in 2021 but he has remained in his seat. Members of the board are appointed by the State’s Governor and confirmed by the Senate. The issue is that while Democratic Governor Tony Evers has appointed a new member to take Prehn’s place, the Republican controlled Senate has not confirmed the appointment leaving Prehn with a loophole to stay on the board even after the term limit.

As one might expect, a lawsuit has been brought against Prehn and the search of his devices is now a part of that. A digital forensic firm will be extracting messages from his personal cell phone and iPad. The scope of the search includes all messages from a 1 year time frame excluding only privileged messages between Prehn and counsel, his dental patients and any messages exchanged with clergy.

Some text messages and emails relating to his decision to stay on the board after his term limit expired have already turned up in other cases and records requests. However, the opposing party seems to expect Prehn’s personal devices will shed more light on the situation and factors that contributed to the controversial decision.

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