FRONT ROYAL – Former Sheriff Daniel McEathron’s phone and computer records have been subpoenaed by lawyers representing the Front Royal-Warren County Economic Development Authority in the EDA’s $21.3 million civil lawsuit that alleges rampant theft and questionable dealings.
McEathron, who was sheriff for 16 years, was a defendant in the lawsuit as the EDA accused him and the authority’s former Executive Director Jennifer McDonald of using nearly $3 million of stolen money to make personal land purchases.
About a week before the EDA filed its lawsuit, McEathron announced that he would retire May 1, seven months before his term’s expiration.
McEathron committed suicide May 28, four days after McDonald was arrested on felony counts related to alleged financial improprieties during her tenure at the EDA.
The subpoena, which was recently filed in Warren County Circuit Court, requests “the cell phone and complete cellular telephone records for Daniel McEathron, including but not limited to e-mails, text messages, and records of incoming and outgoing calls including but not limited to communications related to any of the Defendants of the Warren EDA.”
The defendants in the EDA’s civil case include McDonald and her LLCs DaBoyz and MoveOn8; developer Curt Tran and his ITFederal LLC; former EDA Administrative Assistant Michelle Henry; McDonald’s mother Linda Hassenplug and her Little Rugratz Daycare LLC; McDonald’s husband Samuel North; former B&G Goods store owner William Lambert; Donald Poe and his company Earth Right Energy; April Petty, for whom the lawsuit states McDonald served as a real estate agent; and Jesse Poe, who the lawsuit describes as McDonald’s financial associate. Jesse Poe and Donald Poe are not related.
All of the defendants have requested to be dropped from the lawsuit, but Circuit Court Judge Bruce D. Albertson has not ruled whether those request will be granted.
The subpoena further states that the request excludes “records related to pending criminal investigations or jail security.”
The subpoena also requests “any and all cell phones, personal computers, or other electronic devices ever assigned to, in the possession of, or used by Daniel McEathron so that the Warren EDA may make copies of the electronic data contained thereon.”
According to Warren County Circuit Court’s online records, the request for McEathron’s phone and computer records is one of 46 subpoenas that have been submitted for the lawsuit.
Others subpoenaed include several banks, settlement companies and firms with which the EDA conducted business and more.