Huntington Park finance staffer arrested, several others placed on leave after “large-scale security breach”
The lights may be on at the Huntington Park Finance Department, but few employees are milling about. One staffer has been arrested and another five placed on leave following what the city describes as “a large-scale security breach of electronic financial records at Huntington Park City Hall.” According to the LA Times, the suspensions account for “almost the entire roster of Huntington Park’s finance department.”
The employee who was arrested is a budget analyst. She was detained last week on suspicion of unauthorized computer access and identity theft. The five other employees were escorted out of City Hall by police. The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department Cyber Crimes Bureau is the lead agency investigating the case.
The scope of the breach is unclear, but City officials said they do not believe residents’ records were accessed. The Finance Department was closed on Monday and part of Tuesday as a result of the discovery.
Oshea Orchid is the attorney representing all six employees. She claims her clients are innocent. According to the Times, Orchid says they’re “being targeted in an attempted coverup of suspicious bank transfers and city contracts that some employees allege are being improperly awarded to companies with political ties.”
“We believe that management is concerned about them having access to information about the budget and bank accounts, because the employee arrested was someone with a great deal of access to bank accounts and transfers,” she said.
The union that represents the city’s employees has also filed a complaint with the Public Employee Relations Board alleging unfair labor practices and retaliation.