RPS employee information mistakenly emailed to colleagues

By Tara Morgan - bio | email

RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - Fear of identity theft after Richmond Public School workers' personal information is mistakenly emailed to their colleagues. So how did it happen and what's the school system saying?

NBC12 obtained a copy of one email with the attachment that has angered a lot of school employees. It shows more than 100 names and social security numbers of people who've had a change in job status with Richmond schools.

School officials are now in damage control. The controversial attachment is titled "Human Resources Department Actions".

One spreadsheet, dated this Monday, has 57 names, socials, job descriptions and salaries of deceased, former and current Richmond school employees. There are 53 on a second spreadsheet dated last December.

"This has the capability of really screwing up people's lives," said one employee who asked to keep his identity a secret.

He got the email Tuesday morning. 

"One of my colleagues came into my office and was really, really mad about it," said the worker.

RPS spokesperson, Felicia Cosby, says the email was inadvertently sent to a significant number of school employees. There are 3300 in the district.

Cosby says within an hour, steps were taken to minimize access to it. But another school employee says he could still see the information, seven hours after it went out. Cosby says RPS is offering impacted employees free credit report service for six months.

"An identity protecting service would be much more important because there are a lot of things people can do with your social security number than just screw up your credit," said the worker.

Cosby says personnel action will be taken if warranted.

(So you think somebody should lose their job?) "I think this is a little too serious to just overlook this needs something more than a little slap on the wrist," said the worker.

A school board member got several calls from workers and plans to talk to school management Thursday to get to the bottom of this. I tried to reach the school superintendent, but my call was not returned.

Copyright 2010 WWBT NBC12. All rights reserved.