The Free Press, Mankato, MN

Local News

February 14, 2013

Mankato law firm representing victims in DNR data case

(Continued)

MANKATO —

“ If people receive a letter, they should check with DNR to find out when the information was accessed and how many times it was accessed,” Kelly said.

Hunt’s activities came to light after a woman he had met realized he knew things about her that he shouldn’t have, Kelly said. The investigation by the three Farrish Johnson attorneys found Hunt was apparently using the records to screen women on Match.com, an online dating service. The records would show whether the women were using their real photograph. They also revealed addresses, ages, heights, weights and full names.

“He got the names on Match, looked them up and met the women,” Kelly said. “He knew where they lived and he knew what their photo looked like.”

Kelly also learned many DNR employees are concerned about their motor vehicle records being accessed. When the agency called a meeting for the employees whose information had been illegally accessed, about 200 people were there. Some of those people don’t want to complain because they are concerned about being fired, the news release said.

“Many, in checking their records, noted multiple queries were made of their DVS records,” the release said. “It also appears Hunt may have accessed records of supervisors, their spouses and their children.”

The lawsuit also names the state of Minnesota; the DNR; Tom Landwehr, DNR commissioner; Jim Conrad, DNR enforcement director; and Rodmen Smith, DNR assistant director of enforcement.

“Our claim against the DNR is (Hunt) isn’t the first one to use this information illegally,” Kelly said. “He was only supposed to be looking up 200 names per year. He trained everyone how to use it and the law for using it. His supervisors weren’t supervising him.”

Hunt’s supervisors said he shouldn’t have needed to use the information system more than 400 times per year, still far less than the average of 4,000 times per year he was using it. Most of the queries were made while Hunt was off duty.

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