Confidential license plate requests released by state

Confidential license plate requests released by state

Credit: KING

Confidential license plate requests released by state

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by DREW MIKKELSEN / KING 5 News

Bio | Email | Follow: @Drewmikk

KING5.com

Posted on March 19, 2014 at 6:32 PM

OLYMPIA, Wash. -- The Department of Licensing mistakenly released information about 50 vehicles with license plates considered "confidential" by the state.

The information was sent out as part of a public disclosure request.

Department spokesperson Brad Benfield said the documents were emailed before confidential sections had been blacked out, or redacted.

Local police departments and federal law enforcement agencies must file with the state to receive standard license plates for vehicles that usually have "government exempt" plates.

The unredacted paperwork contained names and vehicle information from 15 different agencies, including the FBI and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms.

"Who do we have guarding these records?" asked Arthur West, one of six people who received the unredacted reports.

Benfield said no undercover identities were revealed and no personal addresses of any law enforcement officials were released.

According to Benfield, all staffers who prepare public disclosure requests are being retrained and all requests involving confidential files will now be dealt with by the License Integrity Unit that operates the undercover driver license program.

Benfield said within 45 minutes of the release, the department sent emails to the six recipients asking them to delete the information.
 

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