Recently the Arlington Municipal Patrolman's Association filed a complaint against Assistant Chief Ayala, Chief Johnson and City Attorney Sarah Martin, regarding the release of the name and social security numbers of 48 Police Employees.
Attached is a copy of the investigation conduct by Deputy City Manager Dr. T. Bowman, and to everyone’s surprise, Bowman found no policy violations.
We would like to point out a few issues. First, on page 6, under Dissemination of Personal Information, it states “At the time of hire each employee is provided information regarding the Public Information Act and requested to complete a Declaration for Disclosure of Personal Information Form. This form requires that the employee either elect to have their personal information (home address, phone number, social security number, emergency contact information or information revealing family members) open to the public or restricted from the public.
Nowhere in the investigation report does it state that Dr. Bowman reviewed the Declaration of Disclosure of Personal Information Form for the 48 affected police employees to see if any of them elected to have their social security numbers open or restricted to the public. If the affected employees elected to have their information restricted from the public and that information was released, which we know it was in this case, then a policy violation did occur.
One of the City’s Recommendations (p.13) to prevent recurrence of this issue is to “Provide a notice to the employees who receive access to City documents during disciplinary process that informs them of their legal and administrative limitations as custodian of those records.” Once again, would an employee who is involved in a disciplinary process need another employee’s home address, social security number, emergency contact information, or any information on a Declaration of Disclosure of Personal Information.
Second, if no one violated policy, if no one made a mistake, then why has the City agreed to pay for a one year subscription to an Identity Theft Protection Company for the affected employees. Someone’s action has resulted in the City allocating taxpayer money to correct a wrongdoing, yet no one is being held accountable.
Finally, under the Findings (p.12), #9 states “The City Attorney’s Office does not report to the Arlington Police Department and therefore is not subject to the specific department policies.” We were under the impression that the City of Arlington Personnel Policies (COAPP) are just that, policies for ALL employees, not just a select few. The complaint was filed with the City Manager’s Office, not a specific department.
We are still waiting on a response from the Attorney General’s Office and the Department of Health and Human services. We will notify you once we have received their response.