CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- Former Clay County Sheriff Miles Slack pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court to a charge of wiretapping. He faces a possible five years in prison.
Slack, who resigned last week after serving in the sheriff's department for more than 16 years, entered into a plea agreement with federal prosecutors and has also agreed not to seek the office of sheriff in the future.
He admitted he placed a device on his wife's office computer that kept track of keystrokes in an effort to monitor her chats, emails and other Internet communications. The couple were in the midst of divorce proceedings when that occurred last April, and they have since divorced.
That logging device also captured other information on the computer, located in the Clay County magistrate's office. Slack said that while he was only interested in his wife's personal information, the device captured information regarding magistrate court cases, including credit card and financial information.
U.S. District Attorney Booth Goodwin said following Slack's plea hearing Tuesday that the financial and other confidential magistrate court information the sheriff captured is not a concern.
"Financial information was captured but very likely not compromised," Goodwin said.
Slack will be sentenced later this year by U.S. District Judge John Copenhaver Jr. Meanwhile, the judge set a $10,000 bond, and Slack was expected to post that today.
Goodwin said, "It's a shame that Clay County's chief law enforcement officer chose to illegally tap a government computer.
"Our elected officials and law enforcement officers have to respect the law like everyone else," he said. "If they don't, there are consequences."
Slack's ex-wife, Lisa, who came out in support of her ex-husband last week, said after his plea hearing that she was sad his actions cost him his job.