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AG Warns Against Misuse of Criminal Justice Information, Announces Recent Prosecutions

Staff Report

AG WARNS AGAINST MISUSE OF CRIMINAL JUSTICE INFORMATION, ANNOUNCES RECENT PROSECUTIONS

From the Office of Attorney General Luther Strange

(MONTGOMERY)—Attorney General Luther Strange today warned against misuse of criminal justice information and announced recent prosecutions for crimes involving inappropriate access to the confidential records of the Law Enforcement Tactical System (LETS).

“Certain public employees may be entrusted with access to confidential criminal justice information, which state law mandates is private and confidential to be used for official law enforcement purposes only,” stated Attorney General Strange.  “If private citizens improperly acquire the means of access to this information, it is illegal for them to use it.  Those who betray this trust and break the law to use this data for private and inappropriate purposes are committing a crime for which they will be held to account.”

A former police officer with the University of West Alabama was convicted earlier this week of obtaining criminal record information under false pretenses. William Flowers, 47, of York, pleaded guilty to the felony on June 20 in Sumter County Circuit Court.  Flowers was sentenced to two years imprisonment, which was suspended for a period of two years of probation.

In an unrelated case, the wife of a former police officer for the Prattville Police Department was convicted on June 14 for unauthorized access of a computer system for fraudulent purposes. Brynn Elizabeth Herring, 28, of Pensacola, stated that she used her husband’s user name and password to access confidential records without his knowledge or involvement.  In a June 20 order of the Autauga County Circuit Court, Herring was sentenced to one year and one day imprisonment, which was suspended for a term of one year of probation.

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These cases were investigated by the Alabama Criminal Justice Information Center (ACJIC), the state agency that maintains the LETS system and other criminal justice data for the State of Alabama, and prosecuted by the Attorney General’s Office.

“It is a crime to use LETS for any purpose other than legitimate law enforcement or criminal justice purpose,” said Maury Mitchell, director of the ACJIC.  “Access to this data is privileged and confidential. We will not hesitate to continue to investigate and recommend prosecution for any person who unlawfully accesses or misuses this information.”

Attorney General Strange commended those involved in bringing the case to a successful conclusion, noting in particular Assistant Attorneys General John Gibbs and Thomas Govan, and special agents of the Alabama Criminal Justice Information Center.

Staff
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