SALT LAKE CITY - The Utah Department of Workforce Services has initiated termination proceedings against two employees believed to have created a list disclosing the personal information of 1,300 people.
The Department issued an "Intent to Terminate Employment" notice to one worker and terminated a second, temporary employee. Information gathered during the Department's week-long internal review will be handed over to the Utah Attorney General's Office Wednesday morning for possible legal action.
"Workforce Services' staff members are carefully trained on the appropriate use and dissemination of private data as required by federal laws and regulations," DWS Executive Director Kristen Cox said. "We carefully protect the personal information that we gather, and take very seriously breaches of that public trust. The list contained inaccurate information and undermines the need to maintain confidentiality and adhere to the due process rules of our country."
The 29-page list, which purports to contain private data about illegal immigrants living in the state, began circulating among local media early last week. Governor Gary R. Herbert immediately directed all state agencies to begin a review process to determine if the information originated within state government.
The statewide review quickly narrowed to the Department of Workforce Services, which maintains a database containing information included on the list.
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.