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Home / Case Digests / 00-3958 U.S. v. Fernandes

00-3958 U.S. v. Fernandes

“The district court heard testimony from the County Prosecutor and concluded that the County Prosecutor undertook the search of Fernandes’s office so that he or his assistants ‘could engage in an examination of the files and papers that were left in the office … occupied by Fernandes.’ As borne out by the record, the County Prosecutor had a policy of retrieving files from the offices of terminated employees (even before they have been afforded the opportunity to re move all of their personal effects) upon termination. The district court did not find that prosecutors initially entered Fernandes’s office with knowledge of Fernandes’s participation in a bribery scheme or in an effort to marshal evidence against him. In light of these facts, we agree with the district court’s factual determination that the search of Fernandes’s office lacked an investigatory pretext and find that it was reasonable in its inception. In addition, we find that the search was reasonable in its scope. Based upon the evidence presented, the prosecutors did not engage in overly intrusive or abusive tactics. Rather, as evidenced by the testimony of Tillman-Reed, the prosecutors searched only those areas that were likely to contain work-related materials.”

Affirmed.

Appeal from the United States District Court for the Northern District of Indiana, Sharp, J., Flaum, J.


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