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Lawsuit Brewing Over Ex-DNR Worker’s Improper Data Access

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MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – The law firm of Sieben, Grose, Von Holtum & Carey says they are joining Sapientia Law Group to represent Minnesotans whose data was improperly accessed by a former employee of the state Department of Natural Resources.

The Minnesota DNR earlier identified the ex-employee involved as John A. Hunt. Authorities said he worked as the Enforcement Division’s administrated manager until Jan. 11, when he was discharged after improperly searching driver’s license and motor vehicle records for no job-related purpose.

About 90 percent of the 5,000 Minnesota citizens whose records were accessed were women, the DNR said. The agency said Hunt conducted these off-the-clock queries between January 2008 and October 2012. It’s estimated he made about 11,800 searches.

There is no indication, the DNR said, that the viewed data was sold, disclosed to others, or used for criminal purposes. No social security numbers or other DNR-related license or registration data was involved.

“Counsel will apply for class certification at the earliest practicable time,” read the press release from Sieben, Grose, Von Holtum & Carey.

The Sapientia Law Group of attorneys previously represented Anne Marie Rasmusson, who claimed that more than 140 officers looked at her private data between 2005 and 2012 without a legitimate reason. She reached tentative settlements with St. Paul and other cities worth $665,000.

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