Morrison one of 26 counties named in lawsuit in license data case

By Terry Lehrke, News Editor

Brooke Nicole Bass filed a lawsuit April 12 against 26 counties, including Morrison, 70 cities and more than 300 law enforcement personnel.

The suit, filed in Olmsted County,  claims approximately 340 law enforcement personnel in Minnesota illegally viewed Bass’s private, personal and confidential driver’s license information without a legitimate law enforcement purpose, more than 750 times between 2005 – 2012.

The suit alleges that access violates the Data Privacy Practices Act as the Driver and Vehicle Services Division of the Department of Public Safety maintains the database of motor vehicle records and contains personal information and “highly-restricted personal information.”

Bass is a former police union representative and attorney. She began employment at Law Enforcement Labor Services (LELS) in 2005.

At LELS, she was a lead negotiator for law enforcement collective bargaining agreements. After graduating from the William Mitchell College of Law, she transitioned to an attorney role at LELS, where she served until June 2011, before resigning to enter private practice.

Morrison County is cited as having accessed Bass’s data one time. Crow Wing (three) and Benton (13) counties are also listed as having accessed her data.

Morrison County Administrator Deb Gruber said the county will be represented by Attorney Joseph Flynn Joseph E. Flynn of Jardine, Logan and O’Brien, PLLP of Lake Elmo. As with any other lawsuit against the county, the attorney to represent Morrison County is hired by the Minnesota Counties Intergovernment Trust (MCIT), Gruber said. She could not comment further.