San Francisco City Worker Charged With Data Theft

January 26, 2012

A former San Francisco city employee is facing charges that she stole Social Security and other confidential information from more than 3,000 people who applied for Medi-Cal benefits.

Shawn Williams pleaded not guilty on Tuesday to four felony counts of withholding and concealing stolen property and two misdemeanor counts of possessing confidential information. The alleged theft began in 2006 while Williams worked for the city Human Services Agency.

Prosecutors say she gathered the names and Social Security numbers of the applicants in part by forwarding e-mail from her work account to her personal account.

She is not accused of using or selling the data. Prosecutors instead say she was trying to demonstrate her productivity, as she built a case that she was being discriminated against at work.

Williams was fired in 2009. She has sued the city over her dismissal.

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