DNR manager behind data trolling

  • Article by: ERIC ROPER , Star Tribune
  • Updated: January 26, 2013 - 8:07 AM

John Hunt oversaw training in handling private data. Agency promised a thorough review of employee access.

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tmwinkel1Jan. 25, 1311:31 PM

Then post HIS info. That license at the top of the story shoud have been his!

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parksworkerJan. 26, 13 6:26 AM

What is the name of the state agency that handled this? If not available, I'll send my complaints and information to our AG for forwarding (or Eric Roper of the Strib!). It is time that this type of behavior is dealt with in accordance with the HR rules no matter how high up the food chain the public servant is.

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furguson11Jan. 26, 13 7:26 AM

So what were the damages the last time this happened, a thousand dollars per hit?

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pitythefoolsJan. 26, 13 8:53 AM

I walk away with two questions. 1) Why would someone waste their time doing trolling drivers records? 2) What harm did anyone suffer?

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fwallenJan. 26, 13 9:02 AM

The legislature needs to have an expert write a new law that clearly defines the boundaries. It needs to include automatic penalties with no provision for "administrative leave with pay" just termination with criminal investigation to follow. I'm tired of the coddling of the very few state employees who violate the public trust. It is a disservice to the vast majority who are honest.

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luv2runJan. 26, 13 9:09 AM

pitythefools - i'm with you. not trying to minimize what this guy did, but it's not like the info isn't accessible elsewhere. i just don't see how people have been damaged if there's no indication that the info was used in any way. driving violations are public record, your address is likely on the internet somewhere (mine was on whitepages.com even though i'm supposed to be unlisted). this is not like someone peaking at medical records where it's highly confidential info that only your dr would have. but some of these "victims" will have dollar signs in their eyes and sue. and parksworker, they fired the guy, he's being civilly sued, and may be criminally prosecuted. what more do you want? seems to me that it was dealt with accordingly.

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davehougJan. 26, 1310:16 AM

THIS mis-use is why folks don't trust ANY electronic records. Only paper records can be locked up. We've seen gun permits plastered in the paper, license plate camera data sold to anyone who asks. We will see more.

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jtriceJan. 26, 1310:27 AM

For those of you having a hard time seeing the harm in this, realize the system they are misusing can be referenced from all angles. A person with access can use a license plate to find your name and address. In issues of road range, stalking, revenge, harassment, this information can be very damaging. And no, this information is not out there on the web, this information must be handled with great discretion. Another potential abuse that should be looked into would be our tax records and who has access to IRS files and is that access tracked and monitored. Who has accessed your past tax filings and why?

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serfdumbJan. 26, 1312:36 PM

"This employee not only violated the law, but betrayed the trust of the agency, his supervisors, and fellow employees," DNR Commissioner Tom Landwehr said in a statement. - Lets see the prosecution! Oh, that's right, we only enforce the laws we want to anymore. Like we aggressively enforce immigration, and gun laws. Give me a break. Just say do what ever the heck you want. Its too tough to enforce our laws, we give up. Losers!

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pitythefoolsJan. 26, 1312:57 PM

jtrice - the license plate-related information you mention is available to the public by visiting the local DMV office and asking for it. It's public record. You can debate endlessly who has access to your other various information, but specific to this case unless the employee used the information they found for illegal purposes such as blackmail, there was no harm. No more harm than if you went to the DMV and asked for your neighbors information based on license plate, and then never did anything with it. But I'm sure the ambulance chasers are all over this, which in the end will cost taxpayers even when it's determined to be frivolous.

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