EducationNewsPoliticsThe SouthSider

State wraps up probe of reporter’s discovery of database glitch

JEFFERSON CITY (AP) — The Missouri State Highway Patrol has completed an investigation of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch that began after a journalist exposed a state database flaw.

Patrol Capt. John Hotz told the Post-Dispatch Monday that results of the investigation were turned over to Cole County Prosecuting Attorney Locke Thompson. It remains unclear if any charges will be filed.

Gov. Mike Parson, a Republican, announced the investigation in October after the reporter informed the state of a significant data issue that left Social Security numbers of educators vulnerable to public disclosure. The newspaper held off publishing a story about the flaw until the state fixed it.

The Post-Dispatch obtained records through an open records request showing that the state education commissioner initially planned to thank the newspaper for finding the problem. But the state instead issued a news release calling the reporter a “hacker.”

Ian Caso, president and publisher of the Post-Dispatch, said in October that the reporter “did everything right.”

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