Confidential records - Joe the Plumber

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Confidential records - Joe the Plumber

Postby Marina » Sat Nov 22, 2008 9:19 pm

Search web news articles for

"Joe the Plumber."

Joe the Plumber became famous in connection with the McCain campaign.

In Ohio, his records were searched to look for dirt. Agency officials justified their search, saying they do it for anybody in the news.

There has been ongoing news coverage and official fall-out from the incident. ... /811220374

Article published Saturday, November 22, 2008
4 more Ohio officials punished in 'Joe' data search

COLUMBUS - Four more high-ranking employees of the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services were punished yesterday for their roles in searching Joe the Plumber's background.

Gov. Ted Strickland previously disciplined the agency's chief.

Posts: 5496
Joined: Sat Feb 25, 2006 3:06 pm

Postby Marina » Sat Mar 14, 2009 9:05 pm ... 7&cxcat=16

'Joe the Plumber' sues 3 in database inquiry
The Toledo man claims damages from an illegal search of confidential state information during presidential campaign.

By William Hershey and Jessica Wehrman

Staff Writers

Friday, March 06, 2009

WASHINGTON — "Joe the Plumber" is suing three employees of the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services — including a local woman — accusing them of illegally accessing his confidential information using state databases.

Clayton native Helen Jones-Kelley, the former director of the department, is among the three ODJFS employees that "Joe," otherwise known as Samuel Joseph Wurzelbacher, has sued.

The lawsuit, filed in U.S. District Court in Columbus on Thursday, March 5, charged that Jones-Kelley and employees Fred Williams and Doug Thompson improperly searched "confidential state databases" to retaliate against Wurzelbacher for criticizing then-presidential candidate Barack Obama. Their actions "are sufficient to chill or silence a person of ordinary firmness from future First Amendment activities," the lawsuit said.

The three also violated Wurzelbacher's right to privacy, the lawsuit added. Wurzelbacher has "suffered substantial damages, including emotional distress, harassment, personal humiliation and embarrassment," the lawsuit said.

At a press conference announcing the lawsuit, Wurzelbacher said he's been unable to work in plumbing since the campaign. Few plumbers in the Toledo area, he said are willing to hire him for fear that if he does something a client doesn't like, it'd be national news.

"No one really wants to touch me right now," he said, adding that he makes less money now – he's been reporting for a Web site – than he did working in plumbing.

He also said he's received death threats, and loaded up his guns on Election Night because of his worries about his safety.

The lawsuit demands unspecified damages "as the Court deems just and proper." It sues the three defendants in their "personal capacity" and does not name the state as a defendant.

Jones-Kelley's lawyer, Ritchey Hollenbaugh, had no immediate reaction. "We haven't had a chance to read it (the lawsuit)," Hollenbaugh said.

Jones-Kelley resigned last December in the wake of the controversy. Thompson had his job as ODJFS deputy director revoked and Williams, an assistant director, resigned.

Wurzelbacher, of suburban Toledo, became known around the world after he questioned Democrat Obama and Obama's tax policies and endorsed Republican John McCain for president.

Ohio Inspector General Tom Charles found in an investigation that Jones-Kelley improperly authorized state database searches for personal information about Wurzelbacher.

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