Monday, February 28, 2011
Help Me Howard: Fast Train Dumpster
Your name, date of birth and social security number is important to you, so how would you feel if a school thru it all in the garbage. One student was upset then irritated when the school accused him of stealing, but is it a crime to go thru someones trash and take it. Here is tonights Help me Howard with Patrick Fraser.
WSVN -- Jorge Rodriguez has been in the Army reserves for 28 years. Spent time in Iraq served with his wife a true military many.
Jorge Rodriguez: "Integrity is part of my Army values. Integrity is part of them and I will continue to do it till the day I die."
But now some people would argue his demand for integrity from himself and others has cost him dearly.
Jorge Rodriguez: "They taught me to go by the book."
It began last summer when he came out of a class at Fasttrain, a computer college in South Dade that he and his wife attended. A friend told him students records were in the dumpster.
Jorge Rodriguez: "He jumped into the dumpster, he gave me the paperwork me being an Army officer I was concerned about shredding documents and stuff like that."
Jorge contacted the head of the school.
Jorge Rodriguez: "He said that was a mistake that they have polices and that was not going to happen again."
Jorge says no-one asked for the student records so he put them in a locked box. Then last month, he walked by the same dumpster at the school and saw student records in their again. This time he took pictures to prove what he had found.
Jorge Rodriguez: "I couldnt believe it I was in shock. I said to my wife this its not happening its deja vu."
When he got home, Jorge went thru the documents confidential information on dozens of students and even on fasttrain employees including payroll information.
Jorge Rodriguez: "Date of birt, phone numbers, addresses, social security.If I was a crook I could steal alot of identities right now."
But Jorge felt like a crook when he went to school the next day.
Jorge Rodriguez: "They escorted me out and said we dont want to see you on the premises. They expelled from wife on the same day from school."
A school employee accused Jorge of stealing the records verbally and in a letter. Then a woman claiming to be a Miami-Dade Police Officer called Jorge and told him he was under investigation.
Jorge Rodriguez: "Why didnt you give them to him then becuase I told them before whatever you dispose of its not yours anymore."
Well Howard, Jorges question the schools confidential records were wound up in the dumpster he took them home. Did the school or Jorge break the law?
Howard Finkelstein: "It is illegal for a school or business to not protect confidential information, and once its thrown in the garbage, its considered trash and taking it is not a crime."
I then contacted Alex Amor the owner of Fasttrain. He was very helpful. He told me they are very strict and shred all their documents. He sent me a receipt from a company that shredded boxes of records the day Alex found some in the dumpster. No-one has any idea how this box got in the garbage. My goal then end this thing. And we did Jorge turned the records from both times he found them in the dumpster over to the school.
The school then did what Jorge requested, gave him his records and his wives records. Since Jorge has completed enough classes. He is now a graduate and his wife has one more class to go. One more thing, his dumpster diving days are done.
Jorge Rodriguez: "I wish I had never seen the one last year or this one this year as well neither one."
Patrick Fraser: "While you are not breaking the law by going into someones trash and taking it if its something of value they clearly made a mistake in tossing out, like school records, a photo album or jewelry you have to return it if they ask for it, and this case glad we were able to get both sides what they needed.
A problem been dumped in your lap? Ready to trash it? Contact us, we dont dumpster dive but Howard does dig thru lawbooks.