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Post date: July 22 2009

Attorney General Cuomo Announces State Tax Department Worker Barred From Future Government Employment For Accessing Confidential Tax Information To Benefit Her Friends

Albany, NY (July 22, 2009) - Attorney General Andrew M. Cuomo today announced a Tax Department Employee is barred from future government employment as part of her guilty plea to charges stemming from using her official position to gain access to confidential tax information in order to benefit her friends.

Susan Mackey, a thirty-year veteran employee of the Tax Department before her resignation in October 2008, pleaded guilty today in Albany County Court to one count of Computer Trespass (class E felony) and one count of Official Misconduct (class A misdemeanor). According to court records, Mackey repeatedly accessed computerized tax records of a friend’s ex-husband, so that her friend could use that confidential information against her ex-husband in family court proceedings.

“This individual chose to illegally access confidential personal information to assist her friends at the expense of the public trust, and ultimately her career,” said Attorney General Cuomo. “Government agencies serve as a vast repository for sensitive information and it must be handled with the utmost care by the employees charged with its safekeeping.”

Jamie Woodward, Acting Commissioner of the New York State Department of Taxation and Finance, said: “We are committed to protecting sensitive taxpayer information and the integrity of our tax system. Working closely with the state Inspector General, our investigation uncovered these security breaches, which were referred to the state Attorney General for prosecution. We will continue to seek criminal sanctions against employees who access confidential taxpayer information without authorization and we are grateful for the help provided by Attorney General Cuomo and his staff."

The matter was referred to the Attorney General’s office by the New York State Department of Taxation and Finance. Attorney General Cuomo thanks New York State Inspector General Joseph Fisch, the Department of Taxation and Finance Office of the Deputy Inspector General, and Investigators Megan Allard and Scott Gullie for their assistance with this investigation.

The cases are being handled by Assistant Attorney General Noah Falk, with the assistance of Senior Investigator Michael Battisti and Investigator Michael Ward, under the supervision of Ellen Biben, Special Deputy Attorney General for Public Integrity.