El Paso County hit with $400,000 claim for private information release to Indy

Colorado Springs Independent: A claim for $400,000 against the El Paso County Sheriff’s Office by a husband and wife who work for that office has been rejected, with the county blaming the misstep that gave rise to the claim on human error and asserting it could successfully defend the county against a lawsuit.

The May 16 demand letter by Janet and William Huffor, who serve as Sheriff Bill Elder’s chief of staff and as a lieutenant, respectively, stems from the county’s inadvertent release on April 16 to the Colorado Springs Independent of the Huffors’ job certain private information, such as their Social Security numbers.

(The letter and county response were requested under the Colorado Open Records Act by the Gazette, and provided to the Independent by the county.)

The letter alleges the county violated the Huffors’ constitutional rights by disclosing that information. Not only did the county disclose certain information that the Huffors say should have been protected, but the county didn’t advise the Huffors it had been disclosed, the letter states.

The letter goes on to threaten the filing of a lawsuit seeking damages of $400,000 and a move to “prosecute in good faith a lawsuit against Ms. Zubeck and/or the Colorado Springs Independent requesting a permanent injunction requiring the destruction of the Huffors’ personnel files.”

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