In Brief: February 8, 2013

Garon accepts some responsibility for hacking

The computer hacking scandal that rocked the South Carolina Department of Revenue late last year finally has a name on whom to place some of the blame.
Former Computer Chief Mike Garon said Thursday before a special House committee investigating the security breach that he is “accountable for some element” of the hacking, The State reported.
Garon said he was not the sole cause of the administrative breakdowns responsible for the data breach that leaked millions of Social Security numbers and payment card records from the Department of Revenue’s website.
Department leadership failed to follow Garon’s suggestions to make security a priority, Garon told the House committee. Instead, he said, leaders — including former Revenue Director Jim Etter — set their own list of priorities for projects that put the agency’s computer security at risk, according to The State.
Garon acknowledged to the committee that he and other employees should have quickly noticed the amount of data being uploaded from their systems.
“I was amazed we did not discover it on our logs,” Garon told The State.

— Sarah Ellis, Assistant News Editor

 

State Rep. says he was stopped for DUI

A state representative said Thursday that he was pulled over last fall for driving under the influence after a USC football game.
State Rep. Bakari Sellers, 28, said he was stopped by sheriff’s deputies who saw his car swerving on Interstate 77 in Chester County after the Gamecocks’ win over Georgia on Oct. 7, The State reported.
Sellers said he had his license suspended for six months because he declined to take a Breathalyzer test, but a January hearing dismissed the suspension, The State said.
“Sometimes, we all make mistakes,” Sellers told The State. “If you want a perfect politician, I’m not him. I should not have put myself in that situation.”
Sellers has asked for a jury trial but declined to say how he will plead, The State reported.
The four-term Democratic House member was featured in 2010 by Time magazine in a story highlighting rising politicians under age 40.

—Sarah Ellis, Assistant News Editor

 

State may eliminate long-standing raffle ban

The state lottery might not be the only legal form of gambling in South Carolina if voters approve a new piece of legislation.
A Senate panel advanced legislation Wednesday that would allow schools, churches and other nonprofits to hold a limited number of regulated raffles each year, the Greenville News reported.
The state’s raffle ban is commonly unenforced, but opponents have prevented previous efforts to legalize raffling for fear of “unintended consequences” that changing centuries-old gamiling laws may bring, according to the Greenville News.
Raffling opponents apparently support the new legislation. The bill would not allow poker-themed fundraisers. Organizers would not be allowed to profit from the raffles, and they could not hire anyone to run them.
Gregg Turner, president of the state’s Lions clubs, told the Greenville News that selective enforcement of the raffle ban has been a “major problem.”
South Carolina is one of just four states that currently outlaw raffles, according to the Greenville News.

—Sarah Ellis, Assistant News Editor


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