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Postal Service apologizes for releasing House candidate's security file

The Postal Service apologized on Thursday for "inappropriately" releasing a cache of sensitive personal and ...

Posted: Aug 31, 2018 5:31 AM
Updated: Aug 31, 2018 5:31 AM

The Postal Service apologized on Thursday for "inappropriately" releasing a cache of sensitive personal and background information about a congressional candidate.

It also said similar releases from personnel records may have been made in "a small number" of other cases since June.

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The candidate, Abigail Spanberger, previously worked in law enforcement as a postal inspector. The documents included the security clearance form she submitted as part of the application for that job, which her campaign biography says included "working narcotics and money laundering cases." She also served as a CIA officer during her career.

She is a Democrat running to unseat Rep. Dave Brat, a Virginia Republican.

The Postal Service "deeply regrets our mistake," which was a result of "human error," said spokesman Dave Partenheimer.

"We take full responsibility for this unfortunate error, and we have taken immediate steps to ensure this will not happen again," Partenheimer said, including new "guidance to our employees" and follow up training.

A Republican-oriented opposition research group, America Rising Corporation, had requested Spanberger's Official Personnel File under the Freedom of Information Act. That law requires the government to release public records but also requires it to redact several types of information, including personal data. The group then provided the form to the Congressional Leadership Fund, a super PAC supporting Republican House candidates.

Spanberger on Tuesday had accused the two groups of improperly obtaining the document, charges both organizations denied. The Postal Service's admission on Thursday confirms that America Rising Corporation obtained the document through a standard records request.

"The Postal Service has confirmed that they gave information to America Rising and CLF that they never should have provided," Spanberger said in a statement on Thursday.

"It is my sincere hope that USPS will provide significantly more detail as to how this major failure occurred, and that CLF and America Rising will put decency and country before politics and comply with USPS's request that they return all documents received," she added.

The National Archive's National Personnel Records Center said it received a FOIA request for the records and followed its policy of passing the request along to the Postal Service.

Spokeswoman Sandra Austin told CNN on Wednesday the request did not include an authorization from Spanberger to release her full file. Without an authorization, the NPRC typically only releases a bare-bones Transcript of Service that lists positions and dates of employment.

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

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Cases: 248189

Reported Deaths: 5411
CountyCasesDeaths
DeSoto16841171
Hinds15890312
Harrison13037191
Rankin10439205
Jackson10128177
Lee8721135
Madison8071160
Jones6166108
Forrest5870117
Lauderdale5724177
Lowndes5238109
Lafayette486192
Lamar475363
Washington4734122
Bolivar3941106
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Panola360475
Pontotoc358752
Monroe3487103
Warren337895
Union337457
Marshall336065
Neshoba3325150
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Leflore2980104
Lincoln293385
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Tate266659
Alcorn260651
Itawamba258858
Pike258176
Hancock253557
Prentiss242450
Scott241043
Yazoo237754
Copiah237449
Tippah236246
Simpson232367
Leake227864
Coahoma223154
Grenada215770
Covington208871
Marion206171
Adams201666
Winston198061
George197438
Wayne196130
Attala191658
Newton186542
Chickasaw181243
Tishomingo179659
Holmes167867
Jasper165134
Clay156732
Stone140218
Tallahatchie138234
Clarke136460
Calhoun133321
Smith118823
Yalobusha113834
Walthall111136
Noxubee109622
Greene108929
Montgomery108134
Carroll103721
Lawrence101217
Perry99131
Amite96425
Webster90624
Claiborne85125
Tunica84521
Jefferson Davis83825
Humphreys81524
Benton80323
Kemper75720
Quitman6758
Franklin65315
Choctaw59613
Wilkinson58125
Jefferson53019
Sharkey42417
Issaquena1586
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Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 417528

Reported Deaths: 6030
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson61313888
Mobile29768542
Madison26637185
Tuscaloosa20580268
Montgomery18696304
Shelby18310113
Baldwin16002179
Lee12261101
Morgan12093112
Etowah11604157
Calhoun10982200
Marshall10108107
Houston8474129
Cullman7960104
Limestone790174
Elmore7723101
DeKalb764697
St. Clair7460120
Lauderdale745183
Talladega6102108
Walker5852174
Jackson574441
Blount526483
Colbert525670
Autauga510355
Coffee434256
Dale391081
Franklin363445
Chilton333565
Covington326167
Russell323810
Escambia312442
Dallas300296
Clarke278233
Chambers277869
Tallapoosa2599107
Pike245829
Marion240549
Lawrence240447
Winston223835
Bibb213047
Geneva197431
Marengo197329
Pickens195231
Hale173742
Barbour171236
Butler167958
Fayette166026
Cherokee159630
Henry151119
Monroe144417
Randolph138535
Washington136526
Clay125246
Crenshaw118044
Lamar116619
Cleburne116023
Macon113335
Lowndes108735
Wilcox101221
Bullock98128
Perry95419
Conecuh92920
Sumter88726
Greene75323
Coosa60414
Choctaw51224
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