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DHEC fires worker who tossed documents

Mar 25, 2010 10:43:00 PM - thestate.com
A state Department of Health and Environmental Control employee has been fired after improperly throwing away personal information about people that had been filed with the agency - instead of shredding the documents to protect confidentiality.

But criminal investigators said Thursday no charges will be filed against the person responsible for tossing the documents into a recycling bin behind DHEC offices.

Although the ex-employee improperly disposed of the records, investigators say they found no evidence it was "disseminated for criminal purposes."

Reggie Lloyd, director at the State Law Enforcement Division, said the DHEC incident is an important reminder that personal information should be protected to prevent identity theft and fraud.

DHEC, South Carolina's sixth-largest agency, handles medical records and other documents with identifying information as part of its mission as the state's chief health and environmental agency. Some of that information includes Social Security numbers and medical information.