JEFFERSON CITY, Missouri (AP) – The Missouri State Highway Patrol has completed an investigation into the St. Louis Post-Dispatch that began after a reporter exposed a flaw in the state’s database.
Patrol Captain John Hotz told the Post-Dispatch on Monday that the results of the investigation had been turned over to Cole County District Attorney Locke Thompson. It is still unclear whether charges will be laid.
Republican Gov. Mike Parson announced the investigation in October after a Post-Dispatch reporter informed the state of a significant data issue that has left educators’ social security numbers vulnerable to public disclosure. The newspaper has suspended publication of an article about the flaw until the state fixes it.
The Post-Dispatch obtained records through an open case request showing that the state’s education commissioner initially planned to thank the newspaper for finding the problem. Instead, the state issued a press release calling the journalist a “hacker.”
Ian Caso, president and editor of Post-Dispatch, said in October that the journalist “had done everything right”.
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