Norwalk investigating mailings containing Social Security numbers

City official: "We are very, very sorry. Unfortunately, we can't take it back at this point."
Scott Seitz2
Jan 30, 2014

Norwalk officials still are investigating how thousands of tax-related postcards containing citizens' Social Security numbers were mailed by a Cleveland company.

The situation was discussed at a city council meeting Tuesday night and first reported in the Norwalk Reflector the next day. A follow-up story also was published in Thursday's issue.

Diane Eschen, finance director, said the city provided Shamrock, the firm which processed the postcards, information including the Social Security numbers.

Eschen said the company assumed the numbers were city file or account numbers and printed them on the card that was mailed, not realizing they were Social Security numbers.

The cards were originally mailed to provide residents access to 2013 Norwalk municipal income tax forms.

City residents who received this first card should destroy it, Eschen said.

A second card is in the process of being mailed.

"Some residents have already received their second card," she said.

"We are very, very sorry," Eschen said. "Unfortunately, we can't take it back at this point."

Eschen said Shamrock is a large company that provides similar services for cities such as Toledo and Columbus.

The first batch of postcards cost $4,000, not including postage.

The second batch is being mailed at no cost to the city.

Eschen said though she knows it might not provide much consolation, the cards were sent to individuals with their own information.

"Shred it -- tear it up," she said.

Will the city contract with Shamrock in the future?

"At this point, we're having conversations with them," Eschen said.

Law Director Stuart O'Hara is also monitoring the situation.

"Sure, the city is upset and disappointed it happened," he said.

"Last year was the first time we did it," O'Hara said. "But, the cards last year did not have overt identifiers on it."

Jeff Colvin, Norwalk Certified Public Accountant, said Wednesday he originally called the city about the issue.

"I'm very concerned," Colvin said. "But, I'm not surprised anymore and that's not directed at the city, really at federal and state levels of government.

"Whether it's the federal or state level, everything has to be done fast," Colvin said, adding the emphasis is placed on getting thing done quickly at the federal and state level rather than correctly.

"This is stuff I see happen all the time," Colvin said. "Unfortunately, there's no accountability."

Comments

Cliff Cannon

@ lawyerintrianing : My bottom line is exactly what I wrote " WASP71 " the other day : " @ WASP71 : I understand your point. Further, in debate, one must never forget , that every point has 360 degree's around it, which leaves plenty of room for multiple people to be correct. Would you agree ? "
So kindly understand our personal opinions work for each of us alone and not only that, thanks to the graves of brave young Americans who gave their all for our freedoms, we can express those opinions, agreed ?


So do what you do--- and I will do like wise. Because, personally, I can say no more. Normally, an analogy from sport's is totally understood. So I used one. Yet, it was neither understood nor did it matter, did it ?


So why continue ? For me, I'll still stick with Pres. Coolidge's wise quote: " Nine out of ten things you worry about coming down the road,will fall off the road before it get's to you " That way if there is indeed a S.S. # problem down the road, I'll take care of it. If not .....


Good luck with your anger, as well as your desire to put the genie back into the bottle after her escape.Further, if you want a new 'coach' in the next election----work your butt off to get them elected ( Again, isn't that a prime reason why so many gave so much for ? )


May I leave you with this ? The word " Snafu " comes from those intrepid souls who fought W.W.2. It means, of course " Situation Normal All F'd Up " So if those brave men & women who put--- their very lives on the line---- understood so eloquently, leaders make mistakes. Why do we struggle understanding that ?

Contango

Message on city website:

"...postcards recently mailed for your access to 2013 Norwalk Municipal Income Tax Forms contained a printing error."

"Printing error"?

Shouldn't they be a bit more descriptive? I mean, h*ll, it's all over the news isn't it?

http://www.norwalkoh.com/default...

Lawyerintraining

i cant agreeeeeeee more if this is just an error....lord knows what they call a mistake SSHHEESSSE

Contango

From NR "Roasts & Roasts":

"Now, this printing company in Cleveland has all of these Social Security numbers. What’s going to keep somebody there from passing those numbers on?"

Good point!

Shouldn't the Duncan admin. verify that the data has been destroyed?

Lawyerintraining

company is SHAMROCK COMPANIES INC. 24090 DETROIT RD. WESTLAKE OHIO 44145 PHONNE; 440-899-9510 FAX 440-250-2180 WONDER WHAT THERE OPINION IS?????

Contango

NR, 2/4/14:

"Shamrock deals with Social Security numbers all of the time, there
should not be a concern about Norwalk’s numbers getting into the wrong hands."

They deal “with SSN all of the time” and they didn't think that including them on the cards was inappropriate?

Even without dashes between the numbers, they couldn't figure them out?

No proof possible? A proof is ALWAYS possible.

If you can't dazzle 'em with your brilliance....

Sleep tight good tax-paying citizens of Norwalk. All is well and nothing can go wrong.

Lawyerintraining

As many many many people say what does a stranger look like???? What does a child molester look like???? What does a murder look like??? Well can you say you know EVERYTHING about the person standing next to you or sitting next to you or every person in the grocery store...NO!!! We don't so what makes you so sure there's not one thief crook or any other kind of person that is sitting at that computer next to you is not going to keep yours mine or the other 8 thousand in just Norwalk ALONE what about All the other SSN that they have scene....if this company deals with these SSN all day then as humans we have to admit there only needs to be ONE..ONE..ONE person to take your SSN to ruin your life...watch your CC bank accounts and anything else that can be compromised...DONT THINK IT CANT HAPPEN TO YOU!!!

No2Drugz

ALAN OSBORN FROM BELLEVUE OHIO IS THE MAIN HERION DEALER IN HURON COUNTY. HE IS THE ONE RUNNING TO CLEVELAND EVERYDAY TO BUY THE DOPE AND BRING IT BACK TO SELL. HE IS THE MAIN DEALER IN HURON COUNTY!!!!

Pages