RCNN Investigation Reveals Origin of Flash Drive

A widely distributed flash drive has become the subject of five lawsuits and multiple investigations of ethics violations at Parkersburg City Hall. It’s no wonder the citizenry are demanding to know how the materials came to be collected and disseminated.

Hundreds of files on the flash drive document the affairbetween Mayor Bob Newell and Finance Director Ashley Flowers. Text messages, letters, and emails tell the story of a troubled and grieving young mother who fell head over heels for her powerful, older boss. The drive contains dozens of photos – some of which are pornographic in nature. It also includes lengthy audio files of conversations and a video of an adult nature.

So, how did the flash drive come to be?

Ashley Flowers claims that the information was illegally obtained; however, the River City News Network has confirmed the origin through numerous sources. All of the files were copied from the Flowers’ home computer and distributed by Harold Flowers, Ashley’s estranged husband.

Not all of the images on the drive are personal or pornographic in nature. (The photo posted today is from the flash drive.) There are photos of the mayor posing with golfing buddies and Senator Joe Manchin. But, there are also dozens of more personal photos exchanged by the pair over the course of their affair.

Text messages reveal that the affair took place almost always on city time and on city property – for example in the mayor’s office or fifth floor kitchenette.

There are also text messages between city employees revealing that they knew the intimate details of the relationship.

As announced yesterday, five female city employees represented by attorney Bill Merriman have filed suit in Wood County Circuit Court over the matter. Stephanie Boone, Darci Dyke, Vicki Gheen, Sarah Goff and Tina Hughes claim they were subjected to more than a year of this behavior, which left them without the ability to go to a supervisor about problems caused by the relationship.

About Callie J Lyons

Callie Lyons is an investigative journalist and author living in the Mid Ohio Valley. Her first book, Stain-Resistant, Nonstick, Waterproof and Lethal: The Hidden Dangers of C8, is available at Amazon.com and in hundreds of libraries all over the world. Known as a "warrior for public health", Lyons' environmental investigations have been featured in documentaries, including Good Neighbors - Bad Blood and Toxic Soup, on Swedish National Television and in numbers of television, radio and print media interviews. Her work has appeared on Nova's Whiz Kids and in Mother Jones magazine. More recently, a national audience has come to know her award-winning investigative work through the Environmental Working Group and interviews with leading publications like the Huffington Post and The Intercept. Lyons' work was featured in the 2017 documentary Parched:Toxic Waters by National Geographic. The Short, Fantastic Life of a Saloon Girl is Lyons' first published work of historical fiction.
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