Montana health employees booted for sharing data with lawmakers

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The Montana Department of Public Health has confirmed it fired two employees who turned over personal information on childcare providers to three state legislators last year, reports Great Falls Tribune.

The employees were terminated last fall after an investigation revealed the unauthorized transfer of personal information, including Social Security numbers, for 185 childcare providers to state representatives. Providers whose information was compromised were participants in an early childhood service program at the time, according to documents obtained by Great Falls Tribune.

Former department employee David Hansen said he turned over the providers' information to Rep. Tom Burnett (R-Bozeman) and Republican Sens. Roger Webb and Bob Keenan at the legislators' request, according to the article.

Lawyers for the lawmakers have disputed Mr. Hansen's account.

"[Mr. Hansen] provided information that we did not request from him, and [the information] had already been disposed of before the department made any inquiry," Chris Gallus, lawyer for Mr. Burnett, told Great Falls Tribune.

Department of Public Health officials declined to comment on why the information may have been valuable to the legislators.

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