The criminal case into Schrader and her co-defendants starting following the February arrest of Ed Kramer, the exiled co-founder of sci-fi convention DragonCon and a convicted sex offender. After Kramer was arrested for allegedly taking a picture of a 7-year-old boy in a doctor's office, investigators searching his home computer reportedly found a file with Schrader's name on it.
A Gwinnett County judge has been indicted on suspicion of??hiring private investigators and a convicted felon to monitor her work computer, allowing them improper access to the county?s network.
According to authorities, subsequent investigation found that Schrader had hired a private investigator named TJ Ward to look into her fears that her computer was being hacked — potentially by Gwinnett County District Attorney Danny Porter.
The basis for that allegation has remained unclear. Porter has denied any wrongdoing.
After Ward was hired, he reportedly tasked man named Frank Karic to install a monitoring device on Schrader’s computer.
Kramer, who has worked as a computer forensic analyst, was then tapped to track the activity.
The indictment handed up on Sept. 18 accuses Schrader, Ward, Karic and Kramer of interfering with, removing data from and otherwise “altering” Gwinnett County’s computer network.
All four defendants entered not guilty pleas during an Oct. 10 arraignment hearing. The next hearing in the criminal case is scheduled for Nov. 7.
Because Porter was at the center of Schrader’s original hacking fears, the judge recused herself from handling criminal cases brought by the district attorney’s office since April. But she had continued handling civil cases.
Wednesday’s JQC ruling means that will cease.
A group of rotating senior judges has handled Schrader’s Gwinnett caseload in her absence. Officials have estimated that the cost of paying replacement judges could be nearly $77,000.
Schrader was first elected to the Gwinnett County Superior Court bench in 2012 and makes a salary of $179,000. She will be paid during her suspension.