GWINNETT COUNTY, Ga. (FOX 5 Atlanta) - A judge, a private investigator, a former deputy, and the co-founder of Dragon Con all in trouble with the law. All four are facing Felony charges after an investigation into computer hacking.
Gwinnett County Superior Court Judge Kathryn Schrader was arrested and booked into the Gwinnett County Jail Wednesday afternoon. Judge Schrader along with private investigator TJ Ward, his employee Frank Karic who is a former Forsyth County deputy, and Ed Kramer, the co-founder of Dragon Con and is known to be a computer whiz, are all charged with Computer Trespass.
"In simple terms, it's someone going on a computer network without authority to make changes or get data that you're not supposed to get," said attorney BJ Bernstein who is representing Judge Schrader.
Earlier this year, Judge Schrader accused the Gwinnett County District Attorney's office of trying to access her computer. The Judge then hired Ward to check her computer to determine if it was being hacked.
"They're saying he had no authority to put what is called a wire shark to monitor incoming emails on to this particular computer that was in the possession of Judge Schrader. Our contention is he was hired to do it," said Attorney Mike Puglise who is representing Ward.
According to the indictment, those involved knowing used a computer network with the intent to interfere, remove data and alter the computer network of Gwinnett County between the dates of February 7 and February 26.
Since accusing the district attorney's office of hacking, Judge Schrader has only handled civil cases, not criminal cases. The State Judicial Qualifications Commission will now determine if she will be allowed to remain on the bench while she is facing criminal charges.
"She's going to go in and fight and hope for the same fairness that she has given so many people," said Bernstein.
Judge Schrader was released on her own recognizance. Ward and Karic were released on $25,000 bonds. Kramer remains in jail.