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Wednesday, December 17, 2008

[TN] Domestic dynamite - Trooper Sgt. Babits misuse of cop computers to look up his wives is no big thing

...[Sgt. Clifford] Babits looked up information on his wife, her grown children and his ex-wife... "He looked at people he knew," said [Tennessee Highway Patrol Col. Mike] Walker of Babits. "It didn't go beyond his wife, ex-wife and two adult children."...

Trooper Keeps Job Despite Database Misuse
Sergeant Looked Up Family Members

Reported by Jeremy Finley
December 16, 2008
NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- Another state trooper has been found performing unauthorized background checks. The trooper remains on the job despite using a law enforcement tool for personal reasons. When asked if he thinks there are other employees who could be misusing the system, Tennessee Highway Patrol Col. Mike Walker said, "There very well could be. There very well could be. "Once we find out about it, we'll take action," he said. The action the THP has taken is a letter of reprimand to Sgt. Clifford Babits for accessing the state's Criminal Justice Portal for personal reasons. Babits looked up information on his wife, her grown children and his ex-wife. The database is supposed to be used solely for law enforcement purposes. It comes on the heels of the termination of Trooper Ronnie Shirley, fired for inappropriately looking up information on 182 people, including country singer Gretchen Wilson. Walker said the problem isn't exclusive to Department of Safety employees. "There have been other problems with other agencies, too," he said. Smyrna Airport Police Officer Chris Sorey recently resigned after looking at personal information on the database about his fellow Wilson County commissioners. A probation officer has also been fired for inappropriately accessing the database. And while Shirley was fired, Babits was not. "He looked at people he knew," said Walker of Babits. "It didn't go beyond his wife, ex-wife and two adult children." Attorney David Raybin helped develop the Criminal Justice Portal. "I don't know whether this is appropriate punishment or inappropriate punishment," Raybin said. "The point is that it happened. And it's just indicative that it's going to continue to happen until you create an incentive or disincentive, rather, to doing this." Babits declined a request for comment. The letter of reprimand states Babits may have searched his wife's information to better learn the portal, but Walker said there's no excuse for that or for searching for the others' information. The letter will go in Babits' file. He was neither docked pay nor was he put on administrative leave. [LINK]
[police officer involved domestic violence cyber stalking lesa database special class of crime]

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