Muscogee Sheriff's Deputy disciplined for emailing personal data on female deputies

benw@ledger-enquirer.comOctober 22, 2013 

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A male deputy for the Muscogee County Sheriff’s Department was disciplined last week after sending out an email and attachment with personal information of female deputies who use bullet proof vests.

Point Blank, the maker of protective gear for law enforcement departments, had sent the department a notice that female deputies shouldn’t be using old vests after stress tests revealed the vests were unsafe, Muscogee County Sheriff John Darr said Tuesday.

The quartermaster, the deputy responsible for department supplies, sent the information from Point Blank not only to the women deputies, but throughout the department. The document contained the deputies names, serial number of the vests and personal information including height, weight, chest and cup sizes. “To be honest, he made a mistake, no excuse,” the sheriff said. “He probably should have been a little more diligent in checking that information before giving it out. He wasn’t trying to embarrass anybody, he wasn’t trying to be malicious about it.”

Personal information of 15 to 20 female deputies was on the email. “Unfortunately, there was some information that should not have been on there,” Darr said. “For that reason, we have disciplined the employee and we dealt with the situation.”

Darr didn’t identify the employee because it is a personnel matter.

After realizing the error, the employee wrote a personal note to each of the female employees to apologize. The deputy should have used the serial numbers on the vests and redacted the personal information, Darr said.

“In his haste to get that information out, he did send it out,” Darr said. “He realized his mistake later on when somebody had complained. I don’t think he had thought about the information he had sent out, but it was an honest mistake.”

The sheriff admitted that if he were female, he probably wouldn’t want that kind of information distributed. “We put in some things to make sure this doesn’t happen again,” he said. “All he had to do is put in the names and serial numbers and we wouldn’t be dealing with this problem.”

Darr noted the email error was not his mistake, but it will be associated to him.

“John Darr didn’t do it,” he said. “That’s not the point. They are trying to associate it to me. This is political.”

The email flap comes more than a month after a District Court jury determined that Darr discriminated in his promotion practices, but didn’t award any money to two female lieutenants. The women were passed over for a 2010 promotion that went to a man.

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