Worker charged with illegally downloading personal data

CHICAGO (AP) – A former contract worker for the Chicago Public Schools has been charged with illegally downloading employees’ personal data.

Cook County Assistant State’s Attorney Tom Simpson says Kristi Sims of Hickory Hills conducted background checks on district employees. She had access to the personal information of thousands of CPS employees, contractors and vendors.

Sims was arrested Thursday. Officials say they learned of the breach Wednesday. The data was allegedly stolen Tuesday.

The 28-year-old Hicks is charged with computer tampering and four felony counts of identity theft. It was not immediately clear if she has legal representation.

CPS Chief Operating Officer Arnie Rivera says the stolen information may have included employees’ names, addresses, dates of birth and criminal background information. Social security numbers were not included in the breached files.