MARYLAND

St. Mary's County fails to redact employee social security numbers

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(WJLA) - The Chesapeake Today, a tabloid style monthly newspaper in St. Mary's County, was delivered Wednesday night to subscribers and newstands across southern Maryland, including the sheriff's office and the county attorney's office.

It was a bit of irony for the paper's owner and primary writer Ken Rossignol.

"I'm glad to get the news to our readers about what the government is doing and even what they are doing to the government employees," Rossignol said. "It's kinda scary."

Rossignol recently asked the county for salary data of sheriff's department employees for a story he was working on. He said the county attorney's office and finance department provided that information, plus the social security numbers of all employees, including deputies, civilians and the sheriff himself.

"These are detectives. These are deputies. These are jail guards," Rossignol said. "There's a lot of bad people out there who would love to have this information to hurt these people who actually do a good job for us."

Rossignol said he returned the documents to the county and kept no copies. It was a gesture that the sheriff and other county officials told ABC 7 News they very much appreciate. In a statement, the County said that it is its practice to redact personal information from public documents prior to their release. The statement said that the failure to do so in this case was inadvertent.

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