Personal identity records found in dumpster along downtown Cleveland sidewalk

Dumpster outside former Cleveland Schools HQ

CLEVELAND - Personal identity records were discovered Tuesday in a dumpster alongside the former Cleveland school administration building.

The building is undergoing renovations for a new hotel and the school district says it has been moving decades of records out for safekeeping or shredding.

Even so, some personal information has found its way into a nearly filled dumpster.

In one case, an IRS Taxpayer Identification form containing the name, address and social security number of a Cleveland woman was discovered as well as salary information--including retirement contributions--for another Cleveland resident.

The woman, who asked us to protect her identity, told us she is "very concerned and cannot understand how this could have happened."

She said she is contacting credit agencies immediately to protect her identity.

The dumpster also contained a partial fax--marked confidential--but with missing pages.

Hundreds of student identification cards with photo ID were also discarded.

The school district said it has taken great steps to ensure that personal information was shredded and not discarded in open areas.

In a faxed statement, the school district will launch its own investigation "to determine why some items were not disposed of properly."

The district's statement said it "has strong policies in place regarding disposal and transport of student and employee records."

The dumpster, according to the district, was designated exclusively for non-paper trash. It has taken immediate steps to remove items.

It's not known how much personal information was discarded.

A spokesperson said the district is investigating how this could have happened.

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