Police are investigating a second individual in the alleged break-in to the Kenai Peninsula Borough School District e-mail system.
According to Soldotna Sgt. Tod McGillivray, Soldotna police have been investigating one individual for criminal use of a computer, a class C felony, based on an internal investigation by the school district.
McGillivray said the investigation did not yield enough evidence to prosecute the individual, whose name was not released. The investigation did, however, turn up new information indicating that a second individual may be more involved with the situation than previously thought.
"Some new information came to light last week," McGillivray said. "It just opened a whole new can of worms."
McGillivray said the new information revealed the second individual, who also remains unidentified, may have accessed the e-mail system from Kenai.
Due to jurisdiction rules, McGillivray's report will be forwarded to the Kenai Police Department for further investigation.
The e-mail security breach first came to light in April, when it was discovered that unauthorized individuals had accessed confidential e-mails between senior administrators and school board members.
An internal investigation by the school district led to discipline of three teachers and one of those teachers was named to Soldotna police for criminal investigation.
McGillivray said the individual to be investigated by Kenai police is one of the three previously identified by the district investigation.
As the internal district discipline deals with personnel matters and no one has been charged with a crime by police, names have not been released in the matter.
However, Kenai Peninsula Education Association President Hans Bilben told the Homer News he was one of the teachers disciplined in the matter. He said printouts of the e-mails were passed along to his office, but that he threw them away without reading them.
According to the district, the confidential e-mails dealt with ongoing teacher and support staff contract negotiations. The district maintains the security breach may have provided union negotiating teams with an unfair advantage in negotiations, and it has filed an unfair labor practices complaint with the Alaska Labor Relations Agency.
Jean Ward, an investigator with the agency, is looking into the matter but said her investigation will not be completed for several weeks still.
In the meantime, the district and union teams have continued to meet in negotiations, tentatively agreeing to several nonfinancial points. Talks turned to salary and health benefit issues during the last day of contract negotiations, May 31, and promptly came to a standstill.
The district is investigating possible mediation options, but the teams have maintained a willingness to meet at least a few more times to try to resolve the matters on their own.
Due to schedule conflicts, however, a tentative meeting date has not been established.
The current contract for members of the KPEA and Kenai Peninsula Education Support Association expires June 30.
The current contract will roll over until a new one can be agreed upon.
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