No one in trouble for SSN debacle

No city employee will face discipline for the release of Norwalk residents' Social Security numbers on mailings.
Scott Seitz2
Feb 4, 2014

 

Norwalk officials reported Monday no one will face discipline involving the release of residents' Social Security numbers during a postcard mailing last week.

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

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.

When asked about the potential of a city employee or employees being disciplined for what happened, Norwalk Mayor Rob Duncan referred the matter to Law Director Stuart O'Hara.

"I don't believe at this time there will be discipline of an employee of the city," O'Hara said.

O'Hara said the publishing company, Shamrock, made the error.

O'Hara explained why Shamrock had the Social Security numbers in the first place.

"They (Shamrock) are more than just a publishing company," he said. "They also do the program online tax tool where people can calculate their tax return.

"The city wasn't just handing out Social Security numbers," O'Hara added. "The numbers were needed for the program to work."

Because 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.

Councilman Stephen Schumm said he was informed the Cleveland company will do "the same thing as last year."

Last year, resident identifiers were not included on the card.

"There was no way to proof it (this year)," Schumm said.

Councilman Chris Mushett is also juvenile and probate court administrator.

"I know, at the court, we have to be very particular in what we release as public information," he said. "We go to great pains to see that doesn't happen, but once in a while, we might forget to redact a Social Security number.

"But this time, it did happen and it's like un-ringing the bell," Mushett said. "You can't go back and start over."

"Unfortunately, it happened," Councilman Bob Carleton said. "This was just a mistake -- an error.

"Should it have happened? No," Carleton said. "Mistakes happen. We're still human. The tragedy would be if we don't learn from it."

 

Comments

TOPGUN01

Come on?Who do you blame?WHO ever give the ok!!!!To do this????without proof reading what was going out!!atleast 30 days withiout pay!!

Contango

NR, "‘Bright days ahead’ for Norwalk":

"The city entered 2014 with a $2.5 general fund carryover,
Duncan said, much to the credit of finance director Diane Eschen."

Here's assuming that amt. is a misprint. :)

Now The Rest of...

For those who seem to have endless time to comment on all subjects with their ideas that solve all problems, why not run for public office?

nikfrog

I don't remember giving the city of Norwalk my permission to give my social security number to anybody! I thought you had to have my permission to do that? Shamrock may have sent these out not knowing they were there, but why did the city give them in the first place? If I'm not using your "online tax tool", you do not need my number!! So again, why did they give this company my SSN without my permission??

mitchello

I am proudly a conservative and appreciate conservative values but if this had happened at the Federal or State level Americans would demand that people be fired at the very least.
Someone needs to be fired for this if they haven't already resigned and if not the people of Norwalk need to take to the streets

ThomasJefferson

FTFOI- Is right. How can we blame companies for leaving the area, when the city and county are sending work outside? Did anyone from the city ever even check with local companies to find out what the cost would be? I highly doubt it. Why would it cost the city so much to send these out anyway? Don't we have some part time, without benefits employee who could have handled the job? There is not much difference in the cost of paper and ink, so the cost must come down to wages. And why would we expect anyone with the city to be held responsible? There has never been any accountability in the past-why start now? A prime example is Councilman Carleton. He recently sent out racist emails, claiming he just thought it was funny...still sitting on council, and facing no repercussions at all. Welcome to Norwalk.

Ehovemom

Exactly - what kind of "local" government doesn't want to keep jobs local! I am sure in this economic climate that there is an unemployed citizen who resides in Norwalk who is more than qualified for this task and would be willing to accept the position for as much as their unemployment so they can add this to their resume. Maybe a recent college grad who is job searching and has a degree in finance or public administration with a finance minor. Quit contracting city jobs out of the city!

Really are you ...

If someone is contracted to perform a job, and then subcontracts their duties, who is responsible for the bill? The contracting office or the city?

Was there a State Of The City Address yesterday?

KURTje

Urge those commenting here to attend council meetings & be involved.

In my opinon

We can only remember this come election time. Why city and state officials (Chris Christy--Example) think they can get away with most anything and make excuses is in our control. VOTE:

TOPGUN01

Vote for who?someone on the tea party?why are jobs leaving?N.A.F.T.A.AND FUEL COSTS TO SUPPLY THE GOODS YOU MAKE AND SELL!

methodman

Vote for who, you say.? One word. CONTACO. "A ray of hope."

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