published Saturday, December 14th, 2013

Nashville teachers' personal info at risk

The Tennessee Department of Treasury and law enforcement are investigating the possible theft of personal information from some 6,300 active Metro Nashville teachers.

According to a news release, a former Treasury employee named Steven Hunter sent an email with a Tennessee Consolidated Retirement System file containing names, birth dates, Social Security numbers and home addresses of the teachers to a personal email address at an unencrypted computer. The files only concerned active Metro Nashville teachers, so retirees or active teachers outside that system were not affected.

Spokesman Blake Fontenay said in the release that state Treasurer David H. Lillard Jr. immediately notified law enforcement officials. He said the TBI seized Hunter’s personal computer and other electronic devices Friday from his home.

The investigation by TBI is ongoing, but Fontenay said the file's contents apparently had not been disseminated to other people.

Lillard said in the news release that Hunter "clearly violated Tennessee law and the Treasury Department's privacy policy" by taking the data, but said it's believed to be an isolated incident.

“We continually stress to our employees that they must follow department policies and procedures in handling sensitive information collected for the Tennessee Consolidated Retirement System. This individual violated the public trust by downloading information to his personal e-mail account, regardless of his intentions,” he said.

The release said Treasury will work with law enforcement officials on the issue and will notify all the potentially affected individuals to the extent required by federal and Tennessee law.

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