The world gasped last week after the personal information of government officials was leaked in connection with the Ashley Madison cheating website. CopBlock.org was one of the first media organizations to publish that list. Though I possessed the entire list, only the information of government employees who used taxpayer-funded emails to cheat on their significant others was published.
DISCLAIMER: Just because these names appeared on the cheating website, that in itself does not mean these people cheated. Users are able to sign up to the site without responding to an email verification, meaning anyone’s email address could have been used to create an account.
One of those emails listed was email@example.com. That email account belonged to San Antonio Police Captain Michael Gorhum. After being allegedly outed, Cpt. Gorhum committed suicide. At one point, there were so many city employees accessing the Ashley Madison website that the city banned access to the website from their computers.
I do not revel in the loss of his life, as his decision to allegedly cheat on his spouse was his decision, and for what it’s worth, I send my condolences to his surviving family members. However, I do take issue with his alleged actions while on the taxpayer’s dime. That email was bought and paid for by taxpayers.
Another high-profile victim is Jeff Ashton, State Attorney for Orange and Osceola counties in Florida, who has said he is resigning his post after being revealed as an Ashley Madison user. Though he claims he never actually cheated on his wife, he did admit to using the site. He also claims he did not use government resources to access the website, but in the same breath states that he used the publicly available WiFi at the courthouse. He also neglected to say that he used his government-issued email address, which was paid for by taxpayers.
According to the State Attorney’s office for Miami-Dade, a State Attorney is a salaried position, meaning the taxpayers most likely paid for a portion of Ashton’s salary as he conducted his ‘online activities’ at the courthouse.
I have personally submitted a FOIA request for the two emails listed above, with particular attention to Jeff Ashton. Once those are received, I will update the story with a complete list of his emails and their contents.
There are many more government officials on the list. Those includes people from DHS, FBI, TSA, and many more agencies. When they are not investigating or prosecuting citizens for violating their rules or laws, they enjoy long walks on the beach, intelligent conversation, and cheating on their spouses. The Department of Homeland Security and General Services Administration also said they’re reviewing allegations that employees may have misused government property.
DHS, in a statement, said that the potential violations are “both a personnel and security matter.” The agency considers “viewing, downloading, storing, transmitting or copying materials that are sexually explicit or sexually-oriented, related to gambling, illegal weapons, terrorist activities, or any other prohibited activities” an “inappropriate personal use” of government office equipment.
Another reason this is considered prohibited by DHS is the potential for blackmail. A government worker with a high security clearance could potentially be blackmailed into turning over classified information to prevent his/her family from being notified. (Not all users of the site used their real emails, or emails that readily identified them. However, that information can be determined by examining the IP address and credit card information.)
Todd Fox, for example, works for the Department of Homeland Security. He allegedly registered on the Ashley Madison website using his official government email, firstname.lastname@example.org. He’s also a former cop with Colebrookdale District Police Department.
Another high-level employee is Terry Rosta, who also works for DHS. He allegedly registered on the site by also using his government email, email@example.com. Rosta states on his LinkedIn account that he “deploys as an Executive Officer and Watch Officer during events rated as National Special Security Events.”
Glen Collins is another DHS employee. It seems his area of expertise is being a ‘Protective Security Advisor‘. In a document he authored, he speaks about protecting key infrastructures within the United States, including government facilities and transportation systems. It would seem that someone in his position would know better than to use potentially classified equipment to cheat on his spouse.
There is also David Rubincam, who is a Special Agent for the FBI. In 2012, he was the FBI’s legal attache in Moscow. More recently, he investigated possible terrorist activities in the US. The picture to the left is of Rubincam at a “Sikhs’ worshop” in 2013. That workshop discussed immigration laws and security, among other items.
There are thousands more government officials who were implicated in the hack. Only time will tell what kind of impact all of this will have.
Capital District CopBlock also posted some information regarding local police officers implicated in the hack. One of those officers, Scott Gavigan, works for the Albany Police Department. Besides allegedly cheating on his spouse, Detective Scott Gavigan was accused of stealing money from a bust. He was also sued in a separate incident for excessive force.
Normally, I would not post a picture of a spouse, but I will make an exception in this case. Capital District CopBlock talked with the spouse of Detective Scott Gavigan about his involvement with the Ashley Madison scandal. (she posted on the public Facebook page for Capital District Cop Block) She claimed that her husband was ‘working undercover’ for the police department. I guess lying to your wife about cheating would come easy to a Detective accused of beating people and lying about stealing their money.
Capital District Cop Block: You related to an Albany cop?
Teresa Russo-Gavigan: Yes clearly with my last name I knew you would know I am married to a cop and very proud to be! I have three young kids who love him to death and everyday he goes out there to protect us and get guns out off the hands of criminals!
Capital District Cop Block: I am surprised that you are not upset that your husband is on Ahley Madison. Did you see his name on the list? Funny how his is part of a lawsuit right now for violating peoples rights. But he is one of the goods ones right???
Teresa Russo-Gavigan: Come on really absolutely I knew long before the list published! So should he use r private email?? I don’t think so! If the job wants him to get prostitutes off the websites then he should be using a job email not our private! Absolutely he is good!
Capital District Cop Block: lol you think he was getting prostitutes from that web site for work? omg please His work email was the only Albany PD one lol. If you think he was doing that for work purposes you have the blinders on.
I’m sure that most people reading this article wouldn’t believe Detective Gavigan’s story for a second. After all, what incompetent police department would have a detective solicit prostitutes online, using an official police department email? Regardless, I wish Teresa and Scott the best of luck in their marriage and the pending lawsuit(s). For their sake, I hope the jury never sees the video of the ‘alleged’ theft.