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.”