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City Attorney Tries To Block Auction Of ECOT Computers

May 10, 2018

The Columbus City Attorney's office has filed a motion seeking to halt the state's planned auction of computers owned by the Electronic Classroom of Tomorrow, saying they may contain evidence of attendance-data manipulation. 

Jim Letizia reports.

In a press release, City Attorney Zach Klein says neither the state auditor nor any law enforcement agency has conducted any forensic examinations of the computers. A hearing on the motion is scheduled for Friday afternoon. The auction is also supposed to take place on Friday. The state auditor's office says much of the data on the computers has been copied or is being copied in order to preserve any potential evidence. A former ECOT computer technician recently informed state officials attendance data was being manipulated to increase state funding. The state's largest online charter school operator closed earlier this year amid a funding fight with the state. A court-appointed master is conducting the auction and says no machines will be given to winning bidders until mid-June. ECOT's computer servers are not part of the auction.  There is a partisan component here - State Auditor David Yost is a Republican, and Klein is a Democrat.