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Sheriff’s office takes up data destruction the old fashioned way: with a hammer

Hard Drive

[Image courtesy of Mike Mols/Shutterstock]

There are all sorts of ways to delete files off your hard drive. You can simply put stuff in your Windows Recycle Bin and empty it, or you can even hire companies to make sure that your data cannot be recovered no matter what kind of technological voodoo someone tries use on it.

Then, there’s the old fashioned way: wrecking things with a good ol’ hammer.

Using a hammer, employees of the Broward Sheriff’s office destroyed the hard drive of the previous Sheriff, Al Lamberti, before his successor, Scott Israel, assumed the same position. According to this report from the Sun Sentinel, a publication based in southern Florida, Israel and Lamberti are political rivals.

The people involved in the incident are reportedly unaware of what was on the hard drive, did not view its contents, and claimed that the hard drive wiping software they were trying to use with this device was unreliable, and not working.

Anthony Petruzzi, a Broward Sheriff’s Office website developer, informed investigators that he “was not instructed to destroy the drive in that manner, but he advised that he wanted to make sure he completed the task.” Omar Battista, a senior technical analyst with the office, offered some help, destroying the hard drive with a hammer, and cutting his hand in the process.

Though state laws indicate that public records need to be maintained, an investigation into this matter revealed that no laws were broken, and that former Broward Sheriff Lamberti did not order the destruction of any such documents.

At this point, the status of this case is deemed “pending inactive.”

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