DEA Paid Amtrak Secretary $850,000 To Hand Over Confidential Passenger Lists For No Reason
from the uh,-wow dept
Basically, as bad as the NSA, CIA and FBI may be, the DEA appears to be a pretty massive violator of civil liberties in pursuit of any and all information it can get its hands on. So, given that, it shouldn't be even remotely surprising that the DEA apparently forked over $854,460 to a secretary working for Amtrak to get her to hand over private passenger information for a period of 20 years. Except there is this:
The DEA could have lawfully obtained [this information] for free through a law enforcement network.Also, it seems worth noting that it took Amtrak's inspector general 20 years to figure all this out, and then the operation decided to let the (unnamed) secretary retire (with $854,460 more than she "earned") rather than face any discipline.
On Monday, the office of Amtrak Inspector General Tom Howard declined to identify the secretary or say why it took so long to uncover the payments. Howard's report on the incident concluded, "We suggested policy changes and other measures to address control weaknesses that Amtrak management is considering." DEA spokesman Matt Barden declined to comment.So, the DEA wasted nearly a million dollars to get private info that it could have obtained for free -- but which it probably shouldn't be allowed to have without a warrant. And the "rogue" secretary who forked over this info, while padding her own income, gets off without any consequence at all. Good thing she didn't download public domain material from the internet...