Can’t access former county administrator’s cellphone, county says

The Daily Sentinel (Grand Junction): Mesa County officials say they can’t access the county-issued cellphone used by former administrator Frank Whidden because they don’t know his pin number or have his fingerprint.

Assistant County Attorney John Rhoads said in an email responding to multiple Colorado Open Records Act requests filed by The Daily Sentinel that the county’s information technology office told him they need both to unlock Whidden’s phone, even though most smart phones only require one or the other.

The Sentinel’s CORA requests included any text messages that would help explain why Whidden abruptly resigned his $180,000-a-year job after being placed on paid administrative leave for about two months.

While county officials released no emails or other documents under those CORA requests that would offer an explanation, they hadn’t checked his cellphone text messages, something that is subject to public view.

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