About 2,400 Medi-Cal recipients in San Francisco had their names, Social Security numbers and other identifying information breached as part of an employee dispute at Human Services Agency of San Francisco, officials said.
A former city employee, considering legal action against The City after being fired from the agency that disperses welfare benefits, e-mailed the records to her personal computer, two attorneys and two union representatives, according to the agency's director, Trent Rhorer.
Clients who had their information e-mailed will be receiving letters about the breach, although Rhorer said the information was "extremely contained" and did not include sensitive medical or benefit records.
The employee, whose name and date of termination has yet to be released, was fired from the agency because of performance issues, Rhorer said. She e-mailed the records to her home computer in an effort to prove she was dealing with a disproportionately high caseload.
"I want to emphasize that there is no evidence that information went beyond the former employee." Rhorer said. "The risk of identity theft is very remote."
Service Employees International Union Local 1021, which represents workers at the agency, is looking into the allegation. Spokesman Steve Stallone said that since the information is coming out late on a Friday, it is immediately suspect.
"I think this is a rather inappropriate way to deal with the situation," he said. "It just leaves an allegation hanging out there over the weekend."