AP sources: Imaging worker under investigation over Utah list of purported illegal immigrants
SALT LAKE CITY – Another employee in the Utah Department of Workforce Services has been identified as the second state worker under suspicion in the distribution of a list of 1,300 purported illegal immigrants.
Government officials familiar with the investigation identified the worker Tuesday as Leah Carson. The officials spoke on the condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to publicly discuss the case.
KTVX-TV first reported Carson's identity.
Carson could not immediately be reached for comment. An e-mail to her work address went unreturned. A person who answered the phone at her work number said Carson no longer works there.
Department of Workforce Services spokesman Curt Stewart said he could not discuss the case.
Carson works in the imaging department of the agency, which administers food stamps and other public benefits.
Stewart said the imaging department is responsible for scanning documents such as utility bills and other paperwork that would help verify customers addresses and income levels.
Public records obtained through an open records request show Carson was hired in October and had an annual salary of $24,128. She was fired last week on the same day Gov. Gary Herbert held an immigration summit. Herbert said that day that one of the two suspected workers was a temporary employee who had been immediately fired.
The other worker was previously identified as Teresa Bassett, who worked in the Department of Workforce Services as a computer specialist and has worked for the state in various departments for nearly 17 years. State officials have said she is in the process of being fired, although she was still listed as an active employee Tuesday.
The list state officials believe Carson and Bassett helped compile before one of them distributed it to law enforcement and news media includes Social Security numbers, birth dates, workplaces, addresses and phone numbers. Names of children are included, along with due dates of pregnant women.
Utah officials have said two workers methodically viewed private records to compile the list.
A letter attached to the list demands that those on it be deported, although some are in the country legally. The public release of the list created panic among many in the Hispanic community who feared they would be unfairly targeted by immigration officials.
The Utah attorney general's office is investigating the pair for possible violations of privacy laws.
Intentionally releasing a private record in Utah is a misdemeanor punishable by up to six months in jail and a $1,000 fine.