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Ex-School Tech Director Spied On Colleagues, Police Say

Arrest warrant issued for Thomas Drago, who was under investigation earlier this year for allegedly spying on his co-workers' computers.

Thomas Drago, former Easton Area School District technology director
Thomas Drago, former Easton Area School District technology director
The Easton Area School District's former technology director is facing arrest on wiretapping charges.

Northampton County District Attorney John Morganelli said Thursday that he had signed an arrest warrant for Thomas Drago, who left the district last year during an investigation into whether he had used his computer to spy on colleagues.

Forks Township Police Chief Greg Dorney said he expects Drago to surrender to authorities sometime next week.

Drago, 54, of Bushkill Township faces one felony count of violating the state's wiretapping laws. The charge is "intercept communications," a level-three felony. It was filed Wednesday at the office of District Judge Jackie Taschner of Palmer Township.

Police say that an examination of Drago's computer found a recording of an April 2012 school board meeting that was not open to the public and had been made without the consent of the participants, who included board members, school employees and district offiicals.

The charge is connected to a Forks police investigation into allegations that Drago accessed his colleague's computers without their permission, copied documents that may have contained student information, and may have taken photos of a female school employee's breast.

Forks Township Police Chief Greg Dorney said Drago would likely surrender to police sometime next week.

According to police, the case began in October 2012, when Stephen Furst, the district's director of teaching and learning, was on his computer and noticed a binocular icon on the screen.

When he clicked on it, Drago's name appeared. Furst sent Drago a message, the original search warrant in the case says.

“Tom, what are you doing?” Furst asked him. He got no response, but the binoculars disappeared.

Court documents says Furst wrote to Superintendent Susan McGinley, concerned that Drago had remotely accessed his computer. The district had another employee examine Drago's computer. She discovered that he had accessed McGinley's laptops as well as those of seven other district employees.

When confronted, Drago first denied accessing anyone's computer, police say. Then he said he made a mistake. Then he said he had permission. The district suspended him with pay. 

Court records say says the district began to dig deeper, and hired Miles Technologies of Moorestown, N.J., to examine Drago's computer. 

The examiner, Mike Nelson, confirmed the district's earlier findings. Drago had accessed other employees' computers hundreds of times without permission and may have accessed and copied student files.

The examination also found 70 photos of nude women.

“It is not confirmed at this time if some of the nude images may potentially be of minors," the warrant says.

In addition to those pictures, there were two photos showing a woman's breast and cleavage, believed to be those of a school employee.

According to the warrant, the examiner found that Drago had hidden the audio file of the recording of the meeting and the pornographic images on his computer by running two operating systems at once. 

Drago came to work for the district in January 2002. Prior to that, he worked for 20 years for the Phillipsburg School District.

The school board voted to accept Drago's resignation last Dec. 10. According to the agenda from that meeting, his last day was Jan. 31, the same day police sought the search warrant.

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