Arizona Pension System Reveals Security Breach Months Later

February 18, 2014

The statewide trust that manages pensions for police officers, firefighters, politicians and corrections officers notified its members and their employers this week of a potential security breach even though trust managers have known about the issue since last fall.

Christa Severns, a spokeswoman for the Public Safety Personnel Retirement System, said Friday that she could not specifically say why the trust took months to notify its more than 52,000 members and their employers of a possible problem.

“To avoid compromising an ongoing investigation, we cannot disclose information at this time,” she said.

The trust is offering its members a one-year identity-theft protection program through LifeLock. It’s unknown how much that will cost the system.

In a letter to members and public employers, the pension system said that a former employee had downloaded files from an internal computer prior to his departure last year and some information included the names, e-mail addresses, Social Security numbers and addresses of members.

That employee was Anton Orlich, a lead portfolio manager and one of four high-ranking system staff members who quit in protest last year amid concerns that senior management was not properly reporting the values of real estate assets. Those employees also expressed concern that the reporting of higher values triggered staff bonuses.

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