Criminal Justice

Lawyer Accused of Breaking Into Ex-Employee's Personal Email Is Barred From Using Computer at Work


A Michigan lawyer is facing a five-count criminal case on charges he broke into a former female employee’s personal email account over a period of about six months last year.

Steven F. Spender, 63, is charged in the Genesee District Court case with three counts of unauthorized computer access and two counts of interfering with electronic communications, according to the Flint Journal and WJRT. All of the counts are felonies.

He was released on $10,000 bond, the station reports. However, 67th District Court Judge David Goggins barred Spender not only from using the Internet but from accessing the computer server in his law office. He is permitted only to use his smartphone for calls and cannot have direct computer access or use a digital tablet or iPad.

The WJRT article links to a video clip from his arraignment on Wednesday.

Spender, a senior partner with Spender and Robb in Flint Township, serves as a Michigan Attorney Discipline Board hearing panelist on occasion.

The articles don’t include any comment from Spender. His lawyer, Dennis Lazar, told the judge Wednesday that “we are trying to work out a disposition that would make all parties happy,” WJRT reported. However, Lazar declined the station’s request for comment after the hearing.

A Tuscola County prosecutor is handling the case because Genesee County Prosecutor David Leyton recused himself to preclude any conflict of interest. The state attorney general then determined where the criminal matter would be handled.

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