Opinion Letter No. 92-19
October 7, 1992
Name of County Employee Under Criminal Investigation
Under the Uniform Information Practices Act (Modified)
(UIPA), the County of Kauai should not
publicly disclose the name of a county employee who was being investigated
for possible criminal
offenses by the Kauai County Police Department. The OIP found that
disclosing the identity of a
county employee under investigation for possible criminal violations
would constitute a "clearly
unwarranted invasion of personal privacy."
The UIPA provides that individuals have a significant
privacy interest in "[i]nformation identifiable as part of
an investigation into a possible violation of criminal law, except
to the extent that disclosure is necessary to prosecute the violation
or to continue the violation." Also, federal court decisions
indicate that suspects have privacy interests implicated by the
disclosure of their names in connection with a criminal investigation.
Under the circumstances of this particular case, the OIP found that,
under the UIPA’s balancing test, the public interest in disclosure
of the employee’s identity did not outweigh the employee’s
significant privacy interest in the information.