A staffer who worked for the late Rep. C.W. Bill Young Jr., R-Fla., says her colleague, a one-time case assistant who was subsequently promoted to constituent service representative after Rep. David Jolly, R-Fla., took control of the seat, surreptitiously copied Young’s star-studded contact list.
Harry Glenn, Young’s former chief of staff, told CQ Roll Call that office staff was alerted by the Clerk of the House in fall 2013 that any sensitive information — save for ongoing casework — had to be purged. But Kathy Corapi, a former constituent services coordinator who worked for Young from 2008 until Jolly took office in March 2014, told CQ Roll Call that her former co-worker, Nicole Smith, made off with a cache of private emails and personal cellphone numbers Young had collected over his 40-some years on Capitol Hill.
“They had all of our contacts from every agency, the people, contributors, everything,” Corapi said of Intranet Quorum files populated by data regarding restaurants Young frequented, country music stars he’d met, conservative talk show hosts who’d had him on, former colleagues who’d moved into governor’s mansions, high ranking administration officials and chummy ex-presidents. “You can’t believe what’s in there,” she said.
Corapi recalls learning of the secret transfer — which she estimates took place before the private contractors retained by the Chief Administrative Officer of the House to handle cybersecurity visited the district office in Seminole, Fla. — purely by accident.
“The guy from HouseCall [IT] came down and he was clearing out everybody’s computers. So I said, ‘Gee, I wish there was some way we could keep our contact list’ … and she goes, ‘Oh, don’t worry, I’ve got ’em,’” Corapi said Smith casually disclosed.
Neither the Members Handbook nor the House Ethics Manual explicitly address the disposition of intellectual property gathered by pols. The only real distinction either guide makes is restricting congressional offices from sharing contact info — mainly mailing lists — with campaign operatives.
“A member’s files and records are the property of the member,” a House aide said of non-legislative information amassed by lawmakers while in office. “It’s up to the member — or the member’s representatives — when he/she departs to decide what to do with any data.”
Smith, who at last count still worked for Jolly, did not respond to email inquiries regarding her participation in any information sharing between offices or the scavenging of any data from Intranet Quorum.
A visibly annoyed Jolly declined to address the issue.
“I don’t intend to respond to any comments or allegations made by Mrs. Young,” he said off the House floor on Feb. 3 when first approached about the purported data transfer. Once he’d been made aware that someone other than the congressman's widow, Beverly, had called the dubious practice into question, Jolly cut off the conversation entirely.
“I would encourage you to print every last word that you’ve received from whoever you’ve received it from,” he said.
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