However, three previous district officials who worked in the building said the door to the IT room was not locked prior to the incident.
Former district administrator McLemore, who quit in June, said she does not remember the door to the IT room being locked, and that access to the building was restricted to commissioners, administrative staff and Chief Vinson.
Former board member Buddy Martin, who resigned in July during the upheaval in the district, said he was often at the ESD office and regularly involved in the daily administrative affairs.
Other offices in the building had individual locks that were secured during evenings and weekends, but the server room did not, he said.
When they designed the building, they discussed the issue but opted not to put a lock on the room, believing that the limited access to the building would safeguard the IT system, according to Martin.
Mottley said that access to the building was broadened after the exodus of two commissioners and the administrative staff, something current district officials deny.
Martin said he personally saw two firefighters, men who should not have had access to the building under the previous administration, enter through a secure door as he was giving a tour in early July to two board members replacing him and his son, Greg Martin.
Danielle Douglas began working full-time with the district in July after the ESD’s three administrative employees quit and was terminated by the district earlier this year. Douglas said the IT room was never locked and that many firefighters, and others with the district who did not have offices in the building had access codes to the building during that time.
“I do remember Mr. Mottley expressing concerns about the security of the server room,” Douglas said. “He expressed them quite frequently.”