WSLCB Accidentally Leaks Confidential Information of I-502/SB 5052 Applicants

By John Novak
The email thread below shows you the timeline of a massive data leak to me, by accident, on a public records request revealing I-502/5052 applicants’ personal identifying information, including social security numbers, among other things.
The link provided by the public records officer will take you to the official account for the WSLCB so you can verify authenticity for yourself until the link expires at the end of June.
All files have now been properly redacted by the agency and are now available through the 420leaks database account at this link:
How many times in the last few years has this happened now?  Too many.  It was only last February when we learned that more than 91,000 patients in Washington State had their personal identification information and private health information compromised.
The public records laws in this state are vital to citizen oversight and participation in the process, helping to keep us informed and help show where we need improvements.  More money needs to be spent on upgrading public records departments.
This is the price we pay for large state agencies that keep mountains of data watched over by an underfunded and understaffed public records department.
Patients around the state have already faced uncomfortable situations as a result of this new standardized form, especially those with HIV. How can we turn over these patients in good conscience to I-502 shops with these serious privacy issues caused by legislative and bureaucratic indifference to patient needs?
By their own actions, these two agencies have proven to be deaf, dumb and blind to patient input.  They have instead fostered a culture of contempt, ineptitude and in some cases, outright corruption of the process.
This was clearly shown by the nearly $200,000 settlement paid out by the LCB to Arthur West after his hard work and effort revealing to the court evidence of 17 illegal secret meetings with law enforcement and other groups.
Recently, John Worthington filed a complaint against the WSLCB challenging the entire I-502 rule making process due to their tampering with the rule making file.  The LCB Board dismissed his claims outright, but a Thurston County Superior Court judge recently ruled in Worthington’s favor, calling their actions to be “arbitrary and capricious” and remanded it back to the LCB for another hearing.
Also, Douglas Hiatt filed a federal lawsuit last week in Federal court with an injunction to stop 5052.  The case will get its first hearing later this month.  One of the Plaintiffs on this case is the well known cannabis specialist, Dr. Gregory Carter, MD.
Dr. Carter wrote a letter to the legislators warning them of the harms of SB 5052.  View that document here:
Why are we doing this to patients in a state that sells it to anyone 21 and older with an ID?

It’s more than obvious that the state must start investing funds into training, implementation and oversight of their public records departments.  More public records officers, better training and upgraded systems with double triple checking on privacy concerns with personal and confidential information must be prioritized. State employees and the public deserve better.


Patients, health care providers, designated providers, their families and the ever increasing support base, most of which are registered voters and taxpayers, will be watching how the state handles it all.


——– Original message ——–
From: “Norton, Melissa K (LCB)” <>
Date: 6/3/2016 2:41 PM (GMT-08:00)
Subject: WSLCB PRR 16-02-174 correct 1st Installment

Dear Mr. Novak:

Thank you for your email.

You wrote the following: “I would like to have an official request from the WSLCB for deletion of these files that includes an explanation of what caused this request, both in writing for my records, please.”

The reason that we requested you to delete the files provided to you as your first installment of records was due to privacy concerns regarding the records that were provided. Within the “1st Installment” folder, there was a “redact” folder which contained 98 emails, many of which contained sensitive tax and financial information. It is our belief that in error the “redact” folder was included in the folder that was uploaded to Thank you again for working with us to ensure that these records were removed so that we could apply appropriate redactions.

We have completed the redactions on those particular emails. Here is a new link to the entirety of the first installment:

These records will be available for you to download for the next 30 days. Codes appear within the redactions on the records, and the basis for these exemptions is briefly explained as follows:



Brief Explanatory Description

Statutory Basis


Financial Account Numbers Liquor and Marijuana License Application

Financial Information, including but not limited to account numbers and values, on liquor license and marijuana applications are exempt from disclosure

RCW 42.56.230(5) and RCW 42.56.270 (10) (a)


Driver’s License Numbers

(5) Credit card numbers, debit card numbers, electronic check numbers, card expiration dates, or bank or other financial information as defined in RCW 9.35.005 including social security numbers, except when disclosure is expressly required by or governed by other law

RCW 42.56.230(5)


Social Security Number

Social Security Numbers are exempt from disclosure.

RCW 42.56.510 and 42 USC Section 405(c) (2) (C) (viii) (1)


Tax Information

Tax information, such as Federal Tax ID Number, or other tax documents are exempt from public disclosure.

RCW 82.32.330, RCW 42.56.230(5), and 26 U.S.C. 6103.

Attorney-Client Privilege

Attorney-Client Privilege

An attorney or counselor shall not, without the consent of his or her client, be examined as to any communication made by the client to him or her, or his or her advice given thereon in the course of professional employment.

RCW 5.60.060(2)(a)

We also wanted to communicate with you to let you know that Mr. Aguayo is no longer with the agency and Kelly McDermott from our office will be taking over this request.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me. Thank you.


Missy Norton
Records Manager
Office – 360-664-1693/Fax – 360-664-9689

From: John Novak []
Sent: Friday, June 03, 2016 1:33 PM
To: Norton, Melissa K (LCB) <>
Subject: RE: WSLCB PRR 16-02-174 1st Installment
Ms. Norton,

I would like to have an official request from the WSLCB for deletion of these files that includes an explanation of what caused this request, both in writing for my records, please.


——– Original message ——–
From: “Norton, Melissa K (LCB)” <>
Date: 6/2/2016 5:16 PM (GMT-08:00)
Subject: RE: WSLCB PRR 16-02-174 1st Installment
Dear John,Thank you for your understanding.  We are having trouble with uploading the correct first installment of records to Box.  We will provide those records to you tomorrow June 3, 2016.Thank you again,Missy Norton
Records Manager
Office – 360-664-1693/Fax – 360-664-9689


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