County lawmakers demand answers in DMV data mishandling; NYS will audit local office

May 25, 2018

Majority Leader Brian Marinetti says the Republican Majority Caucus wants answers
Credit Tianna Manon

The Republican Majority Caucus of the Monroe County Legislature is demanding an investigation of how documents are treated at the Department of Motor Vehicles in the County Clerk's office.

This week, News10NBC reported that documents containing personal information were simply thrown away instead of properly disposed of at the Henrietta and Irondequoit branches.

Majority Leader Brian Marianetti says he thinks the investigation is important, particularly because of the scale of the problem.   

He says in an era where data braches happen often, government needs to be careful.              

“The bottom line is that this data breach is unacceptable. We live in a world where many members of our community have fallen victim to identity theft. Those who haven’t, still worry about it. Government should hold itself to a higher standard. There’s no excuse for putting the personal information, finances and livelihood of our residents at risk.” Marianetti called for an investigation by the county’s Office of Public Integrity.

County Clerk Adam Bello says that he is as upset as anyone over what appears to be a situation where procedures were not followed and he welcomes an investigation.

“I reached out to the Director of the Office of Public Integrity,  David Moore, and asked for his assistance  in getting to the bottom of what happened; obviously a policy was violated here that we have at the DMV  branches and I want to get to the bottom of it to happened what happened exactly and to make sure this never happens again.”

Bello says that his office will also take other corrective steps to make sure something like this doesn't happen again.

“We met with staff, we reiterated what the policy is, we also just now put into place a new procedure so that in case this was just a case of an accident or something getting mixed in papers, we have a new policy that all documents are to be shredded before they leave the DMV so whether they contain information that’s personal in nature or not.”

The NYS Department of Motor Vehicles is also looking into the situation. They provided this statement:

"New York State Department of Motor Vehicles is deeply troubled by a recent report that documents processed by the Monroe County Clerk’s Office that contain sensitive customer data were mishandled.  DMV will launch an audit of the office and has spoken to the Monroe County Clerk to better understand the circumstances of this situation and to confirm the office is taking appropriate and immediate action to correct this problem.  DMV has strict policies for protecting sensitive information, which includes secure filing at a central DMV location.”