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Council to hear report on missing Social Security numbers

March 07, 2012 - Goodrich-In November, the village council voted 4-0 to hire Grand Blanc CPA Karl Haiser to resolve an unpaid bill of about $6,000 as well as answer questions regarding whether 19 individuals' private information was compromised by the removal of computer files after the dismissal of the village administrator.

The council approved a $9,300 contract with Haiser to investigate the matters further which is expected to be discussed at the 7 p.m., March 12 village meeting. A four-page preliminary report that described the focus of the report was released on Feb. 10.

Richard Saroli, village council member, said it's time to resolve the issues.

"We don't want to put the village in turmoil, but we have 19 people that signed a petition to find out what happened to their Social Security numbers. We have a duty to those people—they feel the numbers were taken illegally. We need to get those (numbers) back if that's the case. I would hope the investigation would satisfy them. That's what I'm looking for—they came to the council and asked to make this situation more tolerable. Whatever comes out of the report we'll let the attorney decide. There's no axe to grind with anyone."

At the center of the report are concerns stem from a Feb. 9 row when the village council voted to request the resignation of Village Administrator Jakki Sidge. She was also requested to make her computer available to copy the hard drive and ordered to not delete any e-mails. She officially stepped down on Feb. 11. Following her resignation, the hard drive was removed from her computer upstairs in the village offices. The hard drive was delivered to ACA, 3487 Richfield Road, where the Genesee County Sheriff Department takes computer equipment for forensic work. ACA had the hard drive and requested the computer tower, which was still at the village office. ACA said it (the hard drive) had been wiped clean. They were not trained to go any further with the investigation.

After that, then-Village Council President Patricia Wartella and Councilman Doug McAbee authorized the computer to be sent to Lansing-based Dalman Investigations. The decision to contract with Dalman was made without a village council vote. However, the report was not released to the public, however, 19 individual's Social Security numbers were allegedly included on the computer hard drive.

Haiser's objective was to determine if the Dalman Investigations was approved by the Village of Goodrich in accordance with the Goodrich Code, Chapter 12—purchasing contracts over $500 which requires Village council approval. In addition, a review the Dalman investigations to determine who is the client and thus pay the investigations fees of $6,134.47.

Haiser recommended the village council not pay Dalman and look to the individuals requesting his services for liability payment.

In regard to the Social Society numbers, Haiser requests at minimum the village report the breach and violation to its insurance carrier and secure insurance protecting those individuals from any financial future loss or expense. In addition, the village counsel should take actions to retrieve this data from all unauthorized parties. A control system should be put in place.

"Following the report we may go into closed session to determine legally what steps we should take," said Saroli. The village attorney will make the determination to move forward after reviewing the report."

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