Jul 16 2010
SALT LAKE CITY - The Utah Department of Workforce Services has identified at least two employees who are believed to be involved in the creation of a list containing the personal information of some 1,300 people.
Governor Gary R. Herbert directed all state agencies to conduct an internal review immediately upon learning of the existence of the document, which purports to contain private data of illegal immigrants living in the state.
The statewide review quickly narrowed to the Department of Workforce Services, which maintains a database containing information matching that on the list.
"Release of such private, sensitive information is deplorable," Governor Herbert said. "We immediately took action to discover the origins of this list, and I'm pleased with the hard work of the Department of Workforce Services. When someone does business with the state of Utah, they deserve to know that their private information will be kept private."
The two employees have been placed on administrative leave pending completion of the full investigation. Others may be identified as the review continues. Information will be turned over to the Utah Attorney General's Office for its review and possible further action.
According to DWS policy, access and distribution of personal and confidential records can be punishable by termination of employment. Misuse of confidential information may also constitute a violation of state and federal law.
The 29-page list has garnered national and international attention because of the ties to the ongoing debate over illegal immigration in Utah and across the country.
Governor Herbert will host a roundtable discussion on immigration reform on July 20, and hopes this situation does not impede thoughtful and respectful discussion on the issue.
"This is a serious public policy matter that should be discussed in a rational and reasonable manner," the Governor said. "This 'list' is not something that should be used for political gain, which is something we have seen over the past week. I encourage everyone, no matter their views on immigration, to approach this with respect for all people and points of view."