• Sheriff's Office recommends felony charges against former Osceola school board member


    OSCEOLA COUNTY, Fla. - The Osceola County Sheriff's Office has recommended that a former school board member face felony charges for hacking into an email account.

    In December, former Osceola school board member Cindy Hartig was accused of getting into fellow board member Jay Wheeler's district email account.

    Detectives at the Sheriff's Office said they have completed their investigation and that it is now up to the state attorney's office to decide if the Hartig should be charged and arrested.

    Hartig and Wheeler have been at odds for years as members of the school board.

    When a school district investigation found that Hartig had hacked into Wheeler's district account and accessed some of his emails Wheeler called deputies.

    "Several weeks ago Mr. Wheeler contacted the Osceola County Sheriff's Office. It was in reference to possible illegal computer use by Ms. Hartig," said Twis Lizasuain of the Osceola County Sheriff's Office.

    Detectives launched a criminal investigation.

    During the investigation, detectives interviewed Hartig and Wheeler.

    The investigators have recommended that the former chairwoman of the school board be charged with two felonies.

    "Based on that information, we sent charges to the state attorney's office for review. It will be up to them to determine whether formal charges are warranted," said Lizasuain.

    The recommended charges are criminal use of personal identification information and offense against computer users.

    A representative from the state attorney's office told WFTV's Ryan Hughes that the case was entered into the system Wednesday and will be reviewed by an attorney to determine if the charges will be filed.

    Hartig's problems began last fall when the school district superintendent's secretary realized information from an email she'd sent to Wheeler had been copied and pasted into an email Hartig sent to someone else.

    Hughes offered both Wheeler and Hartig an opportunity to comment, but both declined.

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