Man involved in huge data theft loses five days of vacation

Posted by Mark Raby

Columbus (OH) - The man responsible for the biggest data theft in the state of Ohio has received his official punishment - five days of lost vacation.

This summer, a tape containing tens of thousands of government data records was stolen from the car of an Ohio intern.  According to reports following the incident, it was common practice to send sensitive discs home with employees as a "safety measure" to ensure critical government data was not left entirely in the state offices overnight.  The practice was put to an end after the July incident following an executive order from Governor Ted Strickland.

Jerry Miller, Ohio Department of Administrative Services payroll team leader, was deemed responsible for the data theft.  He was ordered to surrender a week of paid vacation for his role in the data breach.

Social security numbers and other sensitive data of over 120,000 Ohio taxpayers and state employees were on the tape, according to computer forensics research.  The cost of replacing the data and providing free credit monitoring to all those affected, along with other costs, will total around $3 million.

A spokesperson for the state's Department of Administrative Services called Miller a "stellar longtime DAS employee", saying he was forthcoming about the incident.  The punishment was recommended by a state board that investigated the incident.  

The government spokesperson went on to say, "One lesson that the state learned is that we need to throw more resources at security and privacy when we have an issue like that."