A Davenport alderman had his work computer wiped clean only days after a fabricated email with confidential information about the city’s purchase of the Rhythm City casino was sent to a local television station.

Davenport police questioned the motivation of the request by Alderman Mike Matson, according to 90 pages of police reports received by the Quad-City Times through an open records request. Matson told Davenport school district information technology specialists the computer was running slow. The 8th Ward alderman teaches Junior ROTC at Davenport Central High School.

He made the request Sept. 17, four days after the email was sent purportedly by Alderman Gene Meeker and a police investigation opened.

Police investigated the email sent to KWQC on Sept. 13 as a case of impersonating a public official. The fabricated email was critical of the payout to casino developer Steve Edelson a few weeks before the city agreed to pay him $99,000 to end a development agreement. Also, the email mentioned secret meetings with Hotel Blackhawk developer Amrit Gill and discussions with a national gaming company.

A second email that was critical of Mayor Bill Gluba was sent a few days earlier in Alderman Jeff Justin’s name.

Meeker and Justin told police they don’t use the email addresses used in the messages sent to KWQC.

Clinton County Attorney Mike Wolf reviewed the investigation and declined to file any charges in the case. He was asked to conduct the review by Scott County Attorney Mike Walton, who was concerned about a possible conflict of interest.

During the police investigation, a laptop computer was seized from Matson’s classroom to determine if the emails came from it, but that was two weeks after the computer was re-imaged at Matson’s request.

Police questioned the timing of the work request. In the police forensic report, Detective William Hurt noted a gap in the computer’s data.

“The fact that the machine was significantly altered four days after the alleged criminal activity is very suspicious,” Hurt wrote.

Matson asked school district information technology workers to reformat the laptop and asked if it would be wiped clean, saying it was running slow. A work request for Sept. 17 states “Reimage me!!!” The computer was seized by police on Oct. 2.

In follow-up police interviews, district IT employees described Matson as “real anxious.”

Matson called IT about his computer three times the day he left it and early the next day, one district employee told police, describing the alderman as “extremely agitated.”

After Wednesday’s city council meeting, Matson said he didn’t know police spoke to two people he said he met with around the time the Meeker email was sent.

“It is pretty obvious I had nothing to do with it,” he said of the police reports.

City Adminstrator Craig Malin explained to police that he met with Matson, Meeker and Alderman Barney Barnhill in a small group and with the full council in closed session about the casino situation and said that Matson expressed the most concern about the city’s plan to acquire the casino.

In their interviews with police, Meeker and Justin said the council worked well together. Justin told police the faked emails created a “sense of betrayal.”

Justin requested the police reports through an open records request at the same time as the Quad-City Times.

“My name was used to disparage the mayor, and it didn’t come from me,” Justin said, saying the computer service request was questionable. “That is what prompted me to get more information, and I think I’ve got the information now.

“Myself and the other aldermen will review it a little closer and we’ll see what their thoughts are,” Justin said.

In his letter to Davenport police saying no charges would be filed, Wolf noted that computer sub-IP addresses are written over every few days, making it difficult to determine which computer was used.

Wolf acknowledged in his letter that witnesses came forward to say that Matson was with them around the time the emails were sent.

(26) comments

billy hoyle

Any trouble he is in, and more important to me, any diversion from the real issue, was brought on by himself when he USED OTHER ALDERMAN'S NAMES to leak info. Why would he do that? Lawbreaking aside, it's idiotic as he has taken the focus off what I think he was trying to expose (secret dealings, payoffs, etc). Re-image thyself !! Apologize, resign immediately, and turn the focus away from you and onto what you were trying to bring to light

Klaatu
Klaatu

So he will be made the scapegoat and villain for trying to put the light of day on dirty dealings. That is how it works, from the office of the Obamunist in Chief all the way down to city hall.

x_infamous

If any one bothered to read the news articles ( I live in Davenport and subscribe to the ARGUS) it should be obvious that the 'Yes Man' is the Mayor, Bill Gluba. I have never seen more references in print to the unaccountable power broker, Craig Malin. If this casino deal goes through and goes sour, every man (sick) of the current proposal pushers will be gone. Before we can get to them! I remember the latest president Bush coming in as a sneering, smirking Brat. I have had the same impression of Malin for quite sometime. Oh., how I rue the day our 'wiser' local politicians snatched him back from the jaws of the citizen's victory, his leaving! Opportunity will present itself. X.

Voice of Truth

Lets stay focused people. Don't let the discussion focus on the irrelevant. This story is stupid and focus needs to be on the information in the Email and what is going on regarding the casino deal and also behind closed doors with YOUR money.

If someone that knows nothing about a computer, carries into their IT department and tells them that it is running slow...the IT department decides what to do about it, how to fix it, etc. The computer user is always impatient about not having the PC, so what. It is ridiculous to focus on this aspect of this story.

Also, with all of the points made in the infamous email...payoffs, backroom deals, inappropriate discussions, etc...why hasn't the Quad City Times pursued this issue? Isn't it the role of news papers and the press to question government, question why people are not being listened to? What really happened? C'mon QCT invest some time, stop playing footsie with the politicians and be on OUR side - HELP!

getinvolved

Maybe we would be focussing on what you think is important if this slime hadn't pretended to be another alderman when he sent this out. He made himself the story rather than telling a story. Who would do that? The guy has the emotional and mental capacity of a ten year old.

Voice of Truth

Wow, get past it and let it go. Who cares if he did or didnt. The bigger picture here is the deals, the money exchanging hands, the pals taking care of pals, the back room deals...thats where you are losing. Thats where the issue is. You are making him the story. No one else.

billy hoyle

I 100% agree that the info about the Edleson payoff due to the broken agreement caused by the secret city/gill meetings needed to be made public - and should have been reported on in this paper in depth.

But if he is "transparent" or "the most trustworthy", why is he tipping off KWQC using OTHER ALDERMAN's NAMES...........allegedly. Why not just use a fake name (deep throat?), or tip a reporter annonymously, or use a "middle man", or go on record. At a minimum, he should resign immediately. Then he could run for mayor under the slogan "Reimage me!!!"

The best line - "It is pretty obvious I had nothing to do with it," No, it is pretty obvious that you had EVERYTHING to do with it. Now drop down and give my twenty, mister

Terry W

He is a sneaky person who thinks he calls the shots, guess thats the military smarter than anybody else and he also tries to throw his weight around........know this from a personal dealing with him.........DON'T TRUST HIM!!

JS824

Or is he the only one trying to get the truth out about the shady dealings with this casino? It's sad. I trust Matson more than any of the rest of the city council, even after doing this.

Voice of Truth

Right...ok. Sounds like this is a personal thing. Whatever...

Mark Riley 4 State Senate
Mark Riley 4 State Senate

When one of Nixon's aides did this under the name "deep throat" he was considered a hero. I am not judging but it seems to be like the Nuremberg trials the winner gets to declare what is ethical and what is criminal, it seems to be a matter of perspective.

getinvolved

Deep Throat didn't sign someone else's name to it. If this slimy little twit had stood up like a man and told the story without pretending to be another alderman, perhaps he would be someone who should represent us. Dumbest, slimiest thing I've seen in years.

sundance

I recommend everyone read the entire report linked to the story. Very suspicious. Matson looks very guilty.

TCS79

Send the computer off and get the drive restored. Unless they really wiped it they stuff may still be on there. It takes a lot more than a reformat to destroy all that information.

JS824

I don't agree with the techniques he used, but he seems to be the only one asking questions about this casino. They rest of Gluba's cronies are just yes men.

jamalee

I hope Matson runs for mayor. The whole casino deal stinks to high heaven!

sundance

You really want a man who may have committed a crime to be your mayor?

pe1961

Billyboy56 you are right on target. Matson is the most transparent councilman we have had in years. I truly hope he runs for mayor; at least he looks out for the citizens of Davenport unlike the current mayor who has his own agenda.

Randogg420

I smell a rat

Downtrodden

Matson should at the very least step down. Or he should go to jail. He is not above the law.

KingJoe

"The fabricated email was critical of the payout to casino developer Steve Edelson a few weeks before the city agreed to pay him $99,000 to end a development agreement. Also, the email mentioned secret meetings with Hotel Blackhawk developer Amrit Gill and discussions with a national gaming company"

This is what has most of the downtown suits laughing at the most. The city did indeed have secret meetings far in advance of the development agreement ending with Edelson. Yes the city paid him nearly 100k to end the agreement virtually days before it was set to expire. The laughing part is how many times this paper has reprinted these allegations/facts and never investigated them. You just keep trying to kill the messenger or in this case the alledged messenger. The fact the Chamber and the City did indeed work behind closed doors in violation of the contract with Edelson should be an issue. In the private sector you would be fired if you cost your employer 100K. How long does it typically take to secure an option on an entire city block? There's an easily measured time line that clearly supports the allegations in the email. In the end this stuff is not a secret to those with their ears open. It's spoken of freely. It's just not reported.


iadude

It's about gambling. It's a casino.
There is a reason gambling casinos always attract negative news.
You can always tell a tree by its fruit.

dendroid
dendroid

doesnn't that show intent to destroy evidence?

Billyboy56
Billyboy56

Mr. Matson seems to be looking out for Davenport and knows quite a few facts. Maybe he should run for Mayor.

Billyboy56
Billyboy56

And he is smart enough to be one step ahead of everyone else.

POPPY

AND THE SAGA CONTINUES.... IT IS CALLED POLITICS

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