Friday, November 17, 2006

What Happened To Sekula-Gibbs' Missing Computer Files?

Just when it seemed things could get no stranger regarding the House seat once held by Texas Republican Tom DeLay, his successor called for an investigation into missing computer records last night, and an aide accused her of "disrespect and unprofessionalism."

Rep. Shelley Sekula-Gibbs (R-Tex.), who is warming the 22nd District seat for only a few weeks, said that former DeLay employees apparently deleted the office's computer files shortly before they walked out, en masse, on Tuesday. ...

David James, DeLay's former chief of staff, who stayed to work for Sekula-Gibbs -- until Tuesday's walkout -- said last night that the office computers "were scrubbed and reconfigured by an outside vendor in the days immediately prior to her assuming office," as House policies require. The new congresswoman was given a copy of everything "electronically or in hard copy, or both," James said in a statement.

DeLay, facing indictment in Texas, resigned from his House seat in June, triggering two elections on Nov. 7 in his Houston area district. The first, won by Sekula-Gibbs, was a special election to complete his term in the 109th Congress, which will adjourn next month. The other, won by Democrat Nick Lampson, is for the full two-year term of the 110th Congress, which convenes in January. ...

James and half a dozen other former DeLay staffers were on board to help Sekula-Gibbs finish the 109th Congress's business. But they abruptly left their posts Tuesday, during her open house celebration. Sekula-Gibbs said she has no idea why they left. But James said in his statement: "Never has any member of Congress treated us with as much disrespect and unprofessionalism as we witnessed during those five days."

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