College's attorney filed complaint June 26 regarding Feb. 9 incident

Nicole D. Perez, Alice Echo-News Journal

Phillip McKinney, an attorney representing Coastal Bend College, filed fraud and theft charges against a former CBC employee more than four months after the alleged crime occurred.

An investigation is underway regarding the complaint, but Beeville Police Lt. Mike Willow said he's not quite sure what he's investigating.

"I'm still trying to sort it all out," he said in a phone interview Monday. "The investigation is ongoing. I'm trying to find out if there is any wrongdoing."

According to a Beeville Police Department report, McKinney filed charges against Anthony Sanders on June 26 alleging Sanders copied college documents without permission and took "two company flash drives of unknown megabytes, approximately $20 to $30 in value."

Those copied documents are now the center of a lawsuit.

Kathlyn Patton, director of personnel for CBC, is listed as the victim in the police report filed by McKinney.

These charges came two months after Sanders filed two DVDs with the 79th District Court in Jim Wells County containing information he alleges college officials may have wanted to keep hidden from the public.

Sanders contends Patton asked him to back up email files from her computer.

According to the application filed with the 79th District Court, Sanders was approached on Feb. 9 by Patton, who asked Sanders to back up all emails on her computer.

Patton told Sanders the reason for the backup was that "I know they are starting to ask for emails," the application stated.

Sanders then made two backups of the information, giving one copy to Patton and later filing the other with the 79th District Court.

CBC also has a lawsuit pending against Alice Echo-News Journal reporter Christopher Maher, who obtained copies of the DVDs through the Freedom of Information Act, and eight other defenders, including Sanders. CBC is demanding the return of the DVDs.

Patton, whose husband is Beeville City Manager Ford Patton, told Beeville Officer Jason Edward Alvarez, she asked Sanders' assistant, Jennifer Keels, not Sanders, to back up her emails for "security" reasons.

According to the police report, Patton contends Sanders "knowingly accessed a computer, computer network or computer system" without her consent and obtained personal and business files.

McKinney told police he wanted to "report the breach of computer security."

Lt. Willow said no criminal charges have been filed "as of yet." Patton could not be reached at work for comment. A receptionist said she was out of town.