The OSB disciplinary committee acknowledged receipt of such demand from an anonymous Coos County lawyer regarding Hughes personal, not professional, conduct prior to the campaign and election.
Most adults in Coos country, legally or not, recognize a series of three numbers followed by two numbers followed by four numbers as a US government issued social security number. There is no greater prize for an identity thief than name and related SSN. Many believe that there are no act that is intended to destroy a person’s personal life worse than to release their name and SSN intentionally or carelessly.
Until a couple years ago, many of us were walking around town with wallets containing cards (social security, Medicare, veterans administration, employee ID, etc.) clearly showing our name and SSN waiting for that number to be stolen. Twenty five years ago it was common practice for banks, government bodies, creditors, etc. to put us in jeopardy by placing our SSN on court documents, pay checks, medical bills, medical records, credit card bills, and other every day documents.
So it was many years ago that a record of a $20 fine ($34 in today’s buying power) by an Iowa court assessed against Hughes, then a typical college student, was released. It was reported that a Coos County lawyer acknowledged disseminating copies of that document to the public with the SSN not redacted; apparently, as reported, he was unaware that a series of three, two and four numbers was a SSN.
Concurrently, a slithering individual claiming to be a local lawyer in fear who must write anonymously contacted the OSB. That person demanded action that would place Hughes license to practice law, and his livelihood, in jeopardy.
Unlike state agencies that summarily reject anonymously written letters, the OSB acts on every inquiry received. For many months the Hughes matter has been thoroughly investigated by the OSB disciplinary committee. OSB findings have been published. Absolutely, positively, no action against Hughes was deemed appropriate. Anonymous was unable to destroy a life. Too late – the damage is done; Hughes is gone; chased away to Harney County.
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