Docs: Amsterdam woman’s computer trespass charge over unauthorized access to DMV database at courthouse

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FONDA — An Amsterdam woman recently charged with computer trespass is accused of unauthorized access to a state Department of Motor Vehicles database, according to allegations filed in court.

She is accused of doing so last year at the address of the Montgomery County Courthouse, according to the allegations.

Lauren E. Griffen, 31, of Amsterdam, was arrested Aug. 31 and charged with one count of computer trespass, a felony.

The Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office announced her arrest in a release, but did not include details on the allegations against her and Sheriff Jeffrey Smith indicated Tuesday his office was not releasing anything further on the case.

According to the charging document filed in court against Griffen, however, the allegations against her relate to alleged actions by her on the afternoon of March 15, 2021.

In a two-minute time span, Griffen is accused of making five unauthorized inquiries using DMV’s COMPASS search application, according to the allegations.

In doing so, according to the allegations, she gained “access to computer material consisting of sensitive records without any legitimate reason or purpose.”

The address given in the paperwork for the allegations is 58 Broadway in Fonda — the address for the Montgomery County Courthouse, which houses court offices, as well as the District Attorney’s office.

A LinkedIn profile for Griffen identifies her as a clerk typist with the county DA’s Office.

District Attorney Lorraine Diamond Thursday confirmed Griffen was a clerk typist with the District Attorney’s Office, but is no longer. Griffen’s final day there was Aug. 4.

With that, the Saratoga County District Attorney’s Office is prosecuting, she said. Diamond declined to comment on the allegations themselves. 

The DMV’s COMPASS system provides access to driver records to DMV employees who need it to do their jobs, as well as a limited number of other agencies, such as law enforcement or government entities that certify they have a permissible use, according to the state DMV.

System use is regularly audited and the DMV takes administrative action or legal action whenever misuse is confirmed, according to the state DMV.

Griffen was arraigned in town of Mohawk Court and released to return to court later.

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