Bentley warned FBI of ‘potentially criminal’ acts

Published 8:47 pm Friday, June 24, 2016

By Kim Chandler | The Associated Press

MONTGOMERY (AP) — Gov. Robert Bentley alerted the FBI to “potentially criminal” actions involving unauthorized access to the state’s crime database, and then fired Alabama’s chief information officer a week later, according to documents released by state law enforcement officials Friday.

Bentley also asked for FBI help investigating any “non-compliance and/or criminal activity” by current or former finance department employees, and said Alabama Law Enforcement Secretary Stan Stabler has already shared information with the Justice Department.

In the June 10 letter, Bentley explained that state law enforcement officials had discovered that finance department employees had provided contractors lacking security clearance with unauthorized access to the database, in violation of federal rules.

The governor also raised “several major security concerns with regard to the state of Alabama’s wide area network” of computer systems operated and managed by the Finance Department’s information security division and its contractors and vendors.

“Today, Secretary Stabler informed me that ALEA has met with members of the office of the United States attorney here in Montgomery and confirmed that some of the actions of senior managers within the Department of Finance and its Information Services Division are potentially criminal in nature,” Bentley wrote.

Stabler released Bentley’s letter and others detailing the personnel actions Friday. Stabler also said that his investigators have “secured information system equipment and other documents for further review.”