Corrections officer arrested for threatening emails

April 3, 2009 8:04:42 AM PDT
A Delaware Corrections Officer is on leave with pay after being arrested for sending email which police say contained "alarming and offensive" statements toward Delaware Governor Jack Markell. Arrested was 50-year-old Steven R. Lenhart, who has been a corrections officer since 1981.

Police say the investigation began after representatives from the Governor's office alerted state police about receiving alarming emails that were sent to the "cost saving suggestion" email account on Sunday, March 22, 2009.

The account was set up for people to share their suggestions, publicly or anonymously, on ways Governor Markell's administration can reduce costs and increase fiscal responsibility.

The investigation revealed that several emails made alarming statements that caused concern for the safety of the Governor, which prompted officials to retrieve the internet protocol (IP) address from the sent email.

Police say that IP address was linked to an account belonging to Lenhart.

On Saturday, March 28, police say several additional emails were sent to the cost saving email account where additional threats were made. These emails were linked to the same IP address.

On Friday, detectives executed a search warrant at Lenhart's home and seized a home computer. Additionally, detectives learned Lenhart was employed as a correctional officer for the State of Delaware.

DSP detectives contacted him and learned he was responsible for sending the emails. He was taken into custody without incident.

As a result of the investigation, Lenhart was arrested for ten misdemeanor counts of Harassment.

He was released after posting a $10,000 secured bail and ordered to have no contact with the Governor.

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