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Report accuses Westfield mayor of secretly monitoring computers in clerk treasurer’s office

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — The ongoing feud between the Westfield mayor and clerk treasurer came to a head Monday night.

The clerk treasurer believes the mayor is spying on her.  

Westfield Mayor Andy Cook spent no time responding to a report commissioned by Cindy Gossard, the city’s clerk treasurer. The report released last night at the Westfield City Council meeting accuses Cook of directing the city’s IT department to install software to secretly monitor and record all the data on computers in the clerk treasurer’s office.

The meeting broiled over a time or two and Cook demanded answers. 

“What is your conclusion here. What are you saying?” Cook asked Daniel Smith of Veracity, the company that prepared the report.

“The conclusion of this investigation with the data that I have is I don’t see any plausible use of the BeyondTrust and PaperCut software as a plausible, legitimate IT use,” Smith replied. “It does appear to be used for the sole purpose of looking at the activity of the clerk treasury’s office on their computers.”  

The city says it has installed software called BeyondTrust and PaperCut. It allows IT workers to remotely access any city-owned computer for maintenance and keep track of how much paper is used.

The city calls it a common practice in both private and public institutions. Tuesday, I-Team 8 asked Jeremy Lollar, the mayor’s chief of staff, to explain. 

Gossard shared the report with I-Team 8, which claims the city monitored meetings between the her and her legal counsel. She calls that an attempt to spy on her and her office. The mayor’s chief of staff disagrees. 

“Our IT director stepped up to the podium and explained all activities that were found in the report and the entire thing could have been avoided, honestly, with a phone call to our IT director” Lollar said.  

The ongoing dispute between the Cook and Gossard has resulted in three lawsuits and a number of internal investigations. Members of the city council said last night they will not approve the use of taxpayer dollars to continue the legal fighting.