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Greenville County ‘Docu-Drama’

Investigation sought following “serious breach …”

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Officials in Greenville County, South Carolina are scrambling to contain the fallout from a literal “docu-drama” involving thousands of confidential files left outside an abandoned, soon-to-be-demolished government complex.

Piles of documents containing sensitive, personal data were left unsecured, unattended and exposed to the elements this week at the Old County Square – located at 301 University Ridge in downtown Greenville. The building is being demolished as Greenville County government recently moved its administrative offices into a new $120 million, 250,000 square foot facility located on an adjacent lot.

News of the document dump was first reported by Kelci O’Donnell of WSPA TV-7 (Greenville-Spartanburg, S.C.).

“Many of the files contained personal information,” O’Donnell noted. “Some of them were found blowing around the parking lot and nestled along the fence behind County Square.”

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Among the files? “Tax records, social security information, and even old ballots cast in previous elections,” according to O’Donnell.

O’Donnell published a follow-up report in which Greenville officials cited the “inadvertent” removal of the documents as part of an “asbestos remediation effort” related to the demolition of the abandoned complex. Greenville County is tearing down its former headquarters to make way for a planned “multi-use hub.” Both the new county administration building – which opened last July – and the planned development are part of the $1 billion University Ridge Project. Among the tenants of the new development are Whole Foods and Lima One Capital, the company founded by former gubernatorial candidate John Warren.

The county’s explanation didn’t satisfy councilman Steve Shaw, who penned a sharply worded letter to county leaders about this “serious breach” – calling for both “an investigation and (the) establishment of a Greenville County identity theft victims’ advocate.”

Shaw also demanded the county produce an “inventory of the breached traunch of records” as well as a list of which county government were responsible for them – along with information on the “contractor, its officers and employees.”

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THE LETTER …

(Greenville County)

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR …

(Travis Bell Photography)

Will Folks is the founding editor of the news outlet you are currently reading. Prior to founding FITSNews, he served as press secretary to the governor of South Carolina and before that he was a bass guitarist and dive bar bouncer. He lives in the Midlands region of the state with his wife and eight children.

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2 comments

Goody3 Top fan March 23, 2024 at 6:56 pm

The Councilman’s response is apropos – his suggestions are well-considered – and the urgency to accomplish the investigation is warranted. He knows whereof he speaks! G’ville County better “get on the stick” – or they’ll be “on the hook” for eternity. ANY G’ville County citizen could bring an action v the County claiming damages for ID theft due to this security breach!! I sure hope the powers-that-be have taken steps to secure the docs in situ. And even if it takes bumping the Mayor and/or the Administrator out of his office – they should get them under lock-and-key.

As an aside – I have never seen the word ‘traunch’ used in any context. Perhaps it is most frequently used in legal correspondence. I first learned the word from the ‘M-W Word of the Day’ to which I subscribe. So, thanks to Mr. Shaw!

Reply
Jerry Hunter Top fan March 24, 2024 at 6:37 pm

The people that run Greenville County could care less. They parked a sheriffs deputy out by the pile to show the media. Like this deputy was going to chase blowing documents around university ridge in the rain.

Reply

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