The judge hired private investigator TJ Ward to look into her suspicions. Ward then tasked Kramer, the former co-founder of popular sci-fi convention Dragon Con and a longtime legal foe of Porter’s, with tracking the activity.
Porter, who has denied trying to access Schrader's computer, said he became aware of the alleged arrangement following Kramer's unrelated arrest earlier this year.
Fearing he could’ve been given access to the county’s larger computer network, Porter turned the case over to the GBI.
As part of its investigation, the state agency has seized one of Kramer’s home computers — a piece of equipment that officials said Tuesday has an estimated 20 terabytes of data to dig through.
Gwinnett Assistant District Attorney Sam d’Entremont, who is representing Porter is the recusal matter, likened that amount of data to “twice the volume of data stored at the entire Library of Congress.”
Lue, the GBI agent leading the investigation, testified Tuesday that the agency has thus far sifted through just 20 percent of the data. She said it would likely take “several more months” to complete the search for evidence.
Visiting Senior Judge John Goger sided in May with Porter's original motion to have Schrader recused from handling criminal cases, agreeing that the investigation could create the appearance of Schrader's impartiality being jeopardized.
Goger agreed Tuesday to extend the recusal order but urged investigators to work quickly.
“I appreciate your effort,” Goger said, “but please try to bring this to a close as soon as possible.”
Schrader, whose annual salary is just shy of $179,000, remains able to handle civil cases, which do not involve the district attorney’s office. But her recusal from cases brought by Porter’s office means she’s unable to carry out a significant portion of her duties.
Outside judges — including a pair of recently retired Gwinnett judges — have been brought in to take her place.
D’Entremont said paying those additional judges has created a “noticeable but not catastrophic” impact on the court system’s budget. He did not provide a specific dollar amount.
Officials said courtroom business has moved along smoothly.
“There has been no negative impact on the business of our courtroom as a result of the recusal,” Angela Mattozzi, the managing assistant district attorney for Schrader’s division, told the AJC. “It has been business as usual.”