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Worker, city settle after private files viewed

December 18, 2013
Associated Press

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — A Minneapolis assistant attorney whose driver's license file was secretly viewed by more than 100 police officers has settled with the city for $32,500.

The City Council approved the settlement with Paula Kruchowski last week after her attorney wrote a notice-of-claim letter, which typically precedes a lawsuit, the Minneapolis Star Tribune reported Wednesday (http://strib.mn/JDbhC4 ).

A message left with the city attorney's office Wednesday was not immediately returned.

Kruchowski's attorney, Bill Tilton, said his client grew suspicious after she had several odd interactions with police employees. For example, colleagues mentioned that she looked different from her license photo, and one person knew her specific address, Tilton said.

"It made her feel very uncomfortable," he said.

Kruchowski eventually received a list of lookups from the Department of Public Safety showing that her file had been accessed at least 118 times since 2003, he said.

Police spokeswoman Cyndi Barrington said no internal investigation was being launched because the lookups occurred before employees were warned in 2011 about proper usage of protected records.

Kruchowski wasn't the only person whose file was secretly searched. The city agreed to pay $392,000 last year to settle claims by a former police officer who alleged that more than 140 officers looked at her private data without a legitimate reason.

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Information from: Star Tribune, http://www.startribune.com

 
 

 

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