The Post's news partner, News10NBC was contacted by a concerned citizen who found stacks of documents in the DMV dumpster behind its Henrietta office.
After a News10NBC investigation showed Department of Motor Vehicle documents with sensitive, personal information were found in the garbage, the Monroe County Office of Public Integrity confirmed Tuesday it is investigating whether DMV documents were improperly handled.
Last week, News10NBC was contacted by a concerned citizen who found stacks of documents in the DMV dumpster behind its Henrietta office. The documents included social security numbers, names, emails, addresses and phone numbers. David Mottshaw also showed us documents which included Homeland Security and Visa information from a Chinese student at the University of Rochester and information on unmarked cars from the Monroe County Sheriff's Office.
News10NBC searched the dumpsters near the DMV offices in Greece and Irondequoit. In Irondequoit, we found more documents with social security numbers and insurance information.
Today, the Director of the County Office of Public Integrity, David Moore, said in a statement, "while I cannot comment on the nature of our investigations, I can confirm that I have been contacted by the Monroe County Legislature and the Office of Monroe County Clerk regarding the potentially improper handling of documents at local DMV locations. We will now follow Office of Public Integrity (OPI) policy and procedure to determine the appropriate next steps."
County ethics watchdog office confirms investigation into DMV documents tossed in trash
Moore recommended that anyone who has used the DMV offices in Monroe County recently should monitor bank statements. Moore also said the Monroe County Clerk's office, which manages the DMV offices, should provide free credit monitoring for any customer that used the DMV in the last 90 days.
When News10NBC showed the documents found in the trash to Monroe County Clerk Adam Bello last week he said, "I'm going to tell you this right now, that's completely unacceptable that that would be back there and obviously we take the security of people's personal and private information very seriously here. This does not make me happy at all that this would have been back there. So this is something that we're going to address immediately."
The County Clerk's office believes many of the documents found in the trash were thrown in the garbage by customers after they were told the transaction could be processed electronically. As a result of the investigation, the County Clerk says there will be specific totes for customers to use for documents that they throw out. Mr. Bello says the documents in those totes will then be destroyed.
The New York State Department of Motor Vehicles is also investigating how DMV documents were handled at the offices in Monroe County.