JEFFERSON CITY (KMOX) – Gov. Jay Nixon’s administration charged Friday, May 3, that a computer connected to the Missouri House tried to access records of people in Missouri who have permits to carry concealed weapons.
The administration has filed an open-records request for records concerning the access attempt.
According to the administration, repeated efforts were made to access the database using an account the administration had provided to the federal Social Security Administration. That account, which had access to the records of permit holders in Missouri, was given to Special Agent Keith Schilb. Schilb told the Senate Appropriations Committee last week that he asked for the records as part of a planned investigation into potential disability fraud. He said the investigation never made it out of the planning stages because he was unable to access the records after repeated attempts.
Referring reporters to the Office of Administration, which issued the release, a spokesperson for the governor said he did not know if law enforcement officials had been contacted nor whether there were any direct ties to an actual House computer as opposed to a visitor’s computer using House WiFi access.
At about 10 a.m. Thursday, May 2, the State of Missouri Data Center “detected repeated and unauthorized attempts” to access the server containing the information, according to the administration’s release.
The administration’s release claimed that the chief clerk of the House refused to provide the administration with access to House computing records. Neither the chief clerk nor officials from the Office of Administration, were available for immediate comment.
The Office of Administration release gave no indication whether the computer access came from a computer installed in House offices or from a visitor’s computer accessing the House’s public WiFi.
The Sunshine Law request is the latest development in the ongoing battle between the Nixon administration and Republicans in the Missouri legislature. Schilb’s testimony before the Senate Appropriations Committee followed the committee’s questioning of officials from both the state Department of Revenue and the Missouri State Highway Patrol.
The Revenue Department has come under fire for its new way of issuing driver’s licenses, which includes the scanning of source documents that contain personal information needed for the licenses. That information includes whether the individual obtaining the license has a concealed carry permit. Meanwhile, the Highway Patrol has been criticized for providing the list to the Social Security Administration.