Source: Sherman Publications

News
Identity protection offered by village council

by David Fleet

January 23, 2013

Goodrich-The village council voted 4-1 on Jan. 14 to extend identity protection to a handful of those associated with the village that may have had their Social Security numbers breached.

The council agreed to retain TrustedID for the protection at a rate of $84.12 per person for a year. In the event all 13 individuals request the protection, the village coffers would be tapped for about $1,100.

The need for the protection stems from a row between village officials over a 2011 alleged unauthorized investigation of the village administrator’s hard drive following her dismissal.. The information contained in the hard drive was obtained by then Village Council President Patricia Wartella and Councilman Doug McAbee, who authorized the computer to be sent to Lansing based Dalman Investigations. The decision was made without the vote of the council. The report by Dalman was not released to the public, however, 19 individuals’ Social Security numbers were allegedly included on the computer hard drive.

Village Administrator Jakki Sidge sent a letter out to the individuals affected by the possible breach in September. Of those, 13 individuals responded.

The TrustedID service alerts clients when personal information, including Social Security numbers, is being used to apply for wireless services, retail credit, utilities, and mortgage loans.

McAbee voted no on the decision.

“It’s been two years and there has not been a problem,” he said. “We are jumping to conclusions.”

Councilmember Richard Saroli said the issue should be closed.

“We as a council want to extend the opportunity to these individuals to protect their identity,” he said. “They may not want to give any personal information to the identification protection company. The village is in no way responsible for the action of possibly disclosing the Social Security numbers.”