Skip to main content

Attorney General Clears Yankee Institute of SEBAC Charges

Attorney General George Jepsen’s statement concerning a complaint filed with his office claiming falsely that the Yankee Institute obtained improper access to the state e-mail system to disseminate false information related to the tentative SEBAC agreement is here printed in full:

STATEMENT BY ATTORNEY GENERAL GEORGE JEPSEN

REGARDING SEBAC COMPLAINT ABOUT E MAILS

By letter dated June 17, 2011, representatives of the State Employees Bargaining Agent Coalition (SEBAC) requested that my office investigate possible violations of state law by the Yankee Institute. The letter alleged that the Yankee Institute obtained improper access to the state e-mail system to disseminate false information related to the tentative SEBAC agreement. We have now, in conjunction with the Auditors of Public Accounts, concluded our inquiry of this matter. We have found no evidence that the state e-mail system was improperly accessed or hacked.

As part of the inquiry, we met twice with representatives of SEBAC. We reviewed the e-mails brought to our attention by SEBAC, and certain other e-mails critical of the proposed settlement brought to our attention by others. We also worked with the former state Department of Information Technology (now a part of the Department of Administrative Services) to determine whether any of these e-mails had been transmitted to the state e-mail system through a breach or violation of that system, and whether there was any other evidence of a breach of the state e-mail system in connection with communications to state employees regarding the proposed settlement.

As part of our inquiry, we reviewed the e-mails sent to state employees and provided by SEBAC. The first e-mail, containing the subject line “VOTE No twice on concessions..pass it on” was sent on May 24, 2011 at 8:07 pm from “Lawrence Jones” to a state employee. The second e-mail, containing the subject line “http//votenotoconcessions.com,” was sent to a state employee on June 13, 2011 at 8:07 pm from “Daniel Luciano.” Neither Lawrence Jones nor Daniel Luciano is listed on the state’s central financial and administrative computer system (CORE-CT) as a state employee. Neither of these two e-mails originated from State of Connecticut internet protocol (IP) addresses. Each originated outside the state e-mail system and reflected a Yahoo e-mail address. The e-mails were sent to IP addresses leased by the State of Connecticut. State information systems security personnel informed us that the e-mails were not sent from within the state system, and there was no evidence that the safeguards in place to protect the state’s network from hackers or other intrusions were compromised or altered to permit or facilitate the transmission of these e-mails.

In the course of the investigation, we uncovered information about additional e-mails that were critical of the proposed union agreement and sent to state employees. Some of these e-mails originated from IP addresses outside the State of Connecticut system; other e-mails were sent by state employees from their state computers and addressed to other state employees. We found no evidence that these e-mails were transmitted in circumvention of the safeguards in place to protect the integrity of the state e-mail system.

SEBAC complained that negative information about the tentative agreement was sent to state employees through “blast” e-mails, suggesting state software settings were circumvented. State information systems security personnel found no evidence that anyone sent “blast” e-mails concerning the tentative SEBAC agreement from outside the state e-mail system to hundreds or thousands of state employees in a single mailing and no evidence that security measures were bypassed.

With some limitations, individuals outside state government have the right to e-mail state employees. Here, because there was no evidence that state laws or policies were violated, i.e., no evidence to substantiate that the state e-mail system was compromised, hacked, or used without authority, we did not pursue the investigation further to attempt to determine the identity of the outside senders or consider the allegations that the e-mails contained false information.

In the course of our investigation, we noted that some individual state employees had used the state e-mail system to broadcast opinions about the proposed settlement in possible violation of state and agency policies about acceptable use of the state e-mail system. The relevant state agencies promptly addressed the conduct. Generally, state agencies, in accordance with their personnel policies, can and should continue to address any alleged misuse of the state e-mail system by state employees.

Our review of the e-mails provided by SEBAC, and other selected e-mails that originated from IP addresses outside the state system, did not show that the state e-mail system was improperly accessed or compromised in violation of state laws or policies. Therefore, based on the evidence to date, and with the agreement of the State Auditors, I am closing the investigation.

###

(Note: The Attorney General will not be commenting beyond the statement.)


Comments

dmoelling said…
My compliments to the AG for doing a professional job. I never understood the reason SEBAC went overboard on this. Is it the fever-swamp of progressive labor leaders? They haven't distinguished themselves in all of this.

Popular posts from this blog

The Blumenthal Burisma Connection

Steve Hilton, a Fox News commentator who over the weekend had connected some Burisma corruption dots, had this to say about Connecticut U.S. Senator Dick Blumenthal’s association with the tangled knot of corruption in Ukraine: “We cross-referenced the Senate co-sponsors of Ed Markey's Ukraine gas bill with the list of Democrats whom Burisma lobbyist, David Leiter, routinely gave money to and found another one -- one of the most sanctimonious of them all, actually -- Sen. Richard Blumenthal."

Dave Walker, Turning Around The Misery Index

Dave Walker, who is running for Lieutenant Governor on the Republican Party ticket, is recognized by most credible political observers as perhaps the most over qualified candidate for Lieutenant Governor in state history.
He is a member of the Accounting Hall of Fame and for ten years was the Comptroller General of the United States. When Mr. Walker talks about budgets, financing and pension viability, people listen.
Mr. Walker is also attuned to fine nuances in political campaigning. He is not running for governor, he says, because he had moved to Connecticut only four years ago and wishes to respect the political pecking order. Very few people in the state think that, were he governor, Mr. Walker would know less about the finance side of government than his budget chief.

Murphy Stumbles

U.S. Senator Chris Murphy has been roughly cuffed by some news outlets, but not by Vox, which published on April 16 a worshipful article on Connecticut’s Junior Senator, “The Senator of State: How Connecticut’s Chris Murphy, a rising Democratic star, would run the world.”
On April 15, The Federalist mentioned Murphy in an article entitled “Sen. Chris Murphy: China And The World Health Organization Did Nothing Wrong. The lede was a blow to Murphy’s solar plexus: “Democratic Connecticut Sen. Chris Murphy exonerated China of any wrongdoing over the global pandemic stemming from the novel Wuhan coronavirus on Tuesday.
“’The reason that we’re in the crisis that we are today is not because of anything that China did, is not because of anything the WHO [World Health Organization] did,’ said Murphy during a prime-time interview with CNN’s Anderson Cooper.”