District attorney drops case against Robertson
Insufficient evidence given as reason for case dismissalBased on additional information and investigations, Crook County District Attorney Gary Williams has dropped charges of computer crime against a county employee.
Marmon Lynn Robertson, who had been charged with two counts of computer crime, had worked for the Crook County Sheriff's Office and now works for the county treasurer's office, according to Williams.
She was arraigned on June 7, 2006. She pled not guilty and her next court date was set for Sept. 8.
"At the time I filed the case, there was probable cause to believe that a crime had been committed," he said in a Friday interview. "Since that time, additional information has been obtained and additional investigation has been done. Based upon that additional information, it does not appear that this case can be proven beyond a reasonable doubt. Therefore, I am ethically bound to dismiss this case and I will do so later today. The additional investigation and information came from Marmon and from computer experts."
The first count states that Robertson "unlawfully, knowingly and without authorization attempted to access computer documentation and data in a computer file entitled 'RODD' [meaning Sheriff Rodd Clark] contained in a computer network." The second count alleged that she attempted to do the same with a file entitled "Jim Hensley," a reference to Undersheriff Jim Hensley. Robertson was placed on paid administrative leave on Nov. 16. She had been hired to work at the county sheriff's office on March 4, 2004.
When she worked at the sheriff's office, Marmon Robertson was Clark's administrative assistant for about eight months. Later, an office deputy position opened up in the Crook County Jail.
"I voluntarily took that position because of some stuff that had come up with my husband," she said.
Clark's office conducted an internal investigation and later, Clark and the district attorney's office formally requested that the Oregon State Police investigate the matter. The sheriff had said he requested an independent, outside investigation so that there would be no inference of impropriety by the sheriff's office. The case was referred to the OSP on Nov. 16, 2005 and the OSP's investigation was completed on April 17.
"We evaluate all filed cases on an ongoing basis," Williams said. "It doesn't happen a lot, but on occasion additional information and additional evidence is presented to us that results in our office asking the court to dismiss the case. That is what happened in this case."
Clark discussed the district attorney's dismissal of the charges.
"I haven't really discussed it with him at this point in time," Clark said. "I believe over the years that Gary makes proper decisions."
"My opinion through this whole thing has been to be fair to the employee and if Gary believes there is not enough there to go forward with the case, then we'll go with that," the sheriff said. "We'll accept that."
Marmon Robertson said she was not surprised that Williams dropped the charges.
"Let me just say that I knew the charges would be dropped," she said. "I know what additional information they were talking about and it was because I presented in my disciplinary hearing that it was a search I was doing that made it look like I was trying to access those files. And I cannot believe they would not have thought of that during the investigation. I thought of it the next day, and I mentioned it to my attorney."
She has been represented by Bend attorney Thomas Hill, who could not be reached for comment by press deadline.
"Is it any coincidence that it was after the election?" she said, regarding the fact that the charges were dropped.
She added, "once they say they can't prove it beyond a reasonable doubt, they just drop it instead of trying to prove my innocence."
"I think a simple analysis of the computer would confirm that what I'm saying is true - that I did a search," she said. "What it just boils down to is that I was doing my job and I was doing it well. I was an honest employee. I did it with integrity and tried to do the very best I could."
Robertson also commented on the likelihood of any resolution for her from the case.
"It won't be resolved until there's an explanation why they dropped it, or there's an apology," she said. "I think I deserve at least an apology."
"I'm just sitting at the computer doing my job," she said of her former job with the sheriff's office. "And then the next thing I know, I'm on leave for eight months and being charged with a crime."
She also said her name was in newspapers and on local radio stations as a result.
She started her job at the county treasurer's office last Monday.
"I haven't even had a chance to talk with Tom Hill," she said of her attorney. "He just said that they wanted to give us the good news that the DA was dropping the charges."
Gary Robertson, Marmon's husband and a former sheriff's candidate, said "as far as him (Gary Williams) dismissing the charges, he should have never filed the charges." He said Williams should have requested more time and done more investigations.
Robertson said the allegation was that Marmon had clicked 24 times on the Clark and Hensley computer files in the same second.
"I don't care how good you are with a computer. There is no way you can click on two files at the same time," Robertson said. Her computer was sent to the Deschutes County Sheriff's Office forensics laboratory for investigation.