Identities Compromised After Documents Not Properly Discarded

PORTSMOUTH, Ohio – A long-time counselor who works for the state to help people with disabilities find jobs, finds himself at the center of an investigation by the Ohio Inspector General’s office.

The counselor has been at the Ohio Rehabilitation Services Commission’s Portsmouth office for 30 years, but now he is accused of dumping confidential records, ONN’s Denise Alex reported on Tuesday.

State officials said that the counselor was placed on administrative leave Tuesday after discarding those documents in a dumpster.

“He is a long-time employee so this is something that is a bit baffling,” said Kevin Miller, Executive Director of the Ohio Rehabilitation Services Commission.

The documents that were found in the dumpster next to the Portsmouth office contained social security numbers and medical records.

“We had a consumer that was there and was cleaning out his car and saw some of the information and told our office,” said Randy Meyer, Ohio Inspector General.

The Ohio Inspector General’s Office is investigating with the help of the counselor’s employer. They said that this breach should have never happened.

“In the last 12 months we had two trainings for counselors and staff on what we call CPI which is consumer protection information. That is very critical to the mission of what we do. This is kind of 101. We don’t understand how this occurred.” Miller said.

It’s believed that 20 consumer’s private information was compromised, Alex reported.

Meyer said that the punishments for this action could vary.

“It’s still too early to tell whether this was malicious or just an act of laziness,” Meyer said. “It all depends on how the outcome of the investigation comes out.”

Right now the Ohio Inspector General’s Office is interviewing and assisting the affected consumers with the help of the Ohio Rehabilitation Services Commission.

Both state agencies said that protocol was to shred the documents rather than dump them.