Wednesday, Oct. 31, 2012
COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) -- A former South Carolina senator has filed a lawsuit against the state's tax collection agency and Gov. Nikki Haley, accusing them of failing to protect taxpayers from a massive security breach.
Attorney John Hawkins is seeking class-action status in the lawsuit filed Wednesday in Richland County. He hopes to represent all taxpayers whose Social Security numbers and credit card information was compromised.
The former Republican senator from Spartanburg says the hacking of millions of personal records amounts to a class-five "cyber hurricane."
He alleges the state should have taken cost-effective steps to protect taxpayers' information and notified the public sooner.
Department of Revenue Director Jim Etter has said the breach occurred Sept. 13. Secret Service officials notified the state Oct. 10. Officials say law enforcement dictated the announcement's timing.
(Copyright 2012, The Associated Press)