Homeland Security chief suspended amid bugging flap

"I think it kind of blows my mind."

These are the words of Matthew Snyder, the man who serves as acting administrator of the Shelby County Homeland Security office and who is now suspended with pay pending the outcome of an investigation.

When asked if he placed bugs inside the local Homeland security department, Snyder replied no.  When asked if he was the one who found the bugs, Snyder explained, "You'll have to talk to Gwen McClain."

McClain is Shelby County's spokesperson who would not comment other than to confirm Snyder's suspension.  But sources close to the investigation tell Action News 5 that Snyder was in fact the person who discovered the four listening devices hidden in the ceiling of the Shelby County Homeland Security offices.

Reporter Syan Rhodes asked Snyder, "Do you know who put the bugs there?"  Snyder replied, "No I do not."

When asked why someone would want to bug the homeland security office, Snyder says, "I have no idea."

During a press conference Friday afternoon, John Fowlkes, Chief Administrative Officer for Shelby County said the county became suspicious after learning a Memphis television station had audiotapes from secretly recorded conversations at the Homeland Security Office.

Fowlkes says, "I'd love to find out who placed devices...the county attorney is addressing that."

Meanwhile Matt Snyder says he can offer no explanation for this apparent security breach at the Homeland Security Office.

Snyder continues, "It's very bizarre, that would be my words."

To send Syan Rhodes an e-mail, click here.