Jessica Miles, a KSTP-TV midday anchor and reporter, became the news herself on Monday.
Miles filed a federal lawsuit claiming that her private driver’s license information was illegally searched about 1,380 times, believed to be the highest number so far in the mushrooming scandal.
Miles is the on-air last name of Jessica Kampschroer. Her husband, Cory Kampschroer, was looked up 92 times and joined her in the lawsuit. He is a digital news manager at KSTP and previously worked as a reporter and anchor for WCCO Radio.
Miles is one of about 20 people who have sued a slew of local and state government agencies after obtaining information from the Department of Public Safety (DPS) that public employees had illegally accessed their private records.
“On July 30, 2013, Jessica was shocked and disgusted to learn from DPS that it had determined that officers and personnel from approximately 180 different departments and agencies had reviewed and improperly obtained or used her private data,” her lawsuit states.
Miles declined to be interviewed for this article, her attorney, Kenneth Fukuda, said.
Federal statute stipulates $2,500 per violation, which would put the total payout to the couple at around $3.5 million.
But in addition, Fukuda, who has filed most of the lawsuits over this issue, said he would be seeking damages for “emotional distress, loss of peace of mind and any action she has had to take to remedy the situation.”
He said those might include doctors’ bills, credit monitoring and theft.
The suit said in May 2008, Miles received a letter from the state Department of Public Safety saying that her driver’s license information had been inappropriately accessed.
She immediately contacted Patricia McCormack, director of Driver and Vehicle Services, the suit says. McCormack told Miles that only one employee had inappropriately obtained her information and “the department has taken the appropriate and allowable disciplinary actions necessary to address this matter with the employee.” She told her the “motive” was “basic curiosity” and inappropriate accesses was not a widespread concern, the suit says.
A month later, TCF Bank notified Miles that someone went into a Mankato-area TCF Bank, and using her name, switched the account and the bank issued a new card. Miles contacted McCormack, who told her that the incident had been addressed. The suit alleges that the TCF incident occurred because Miles’ driver’s license information had been obtained.
“McCormack fraudulently concealed from Jessica the massive extent” of the intrusion into her private data, the suit claims.
“We can’t comment on pending litigation, and we have yet to see the lawsuit,” Bruce Gordon, DPS director of communications, said in an e-mailed statement.
Fukuda also said in an interview that officers from different law enforcement agencies “monitored” Miles by driving past her house, and she believes they got her address through the illegal accesses. He said that she lives in a Twin Cities suburb where law enforcement vehicles in the neighborhood are otherwise infrequent.