Former Clerk Of Courts Employee Charged With Sharing Sensitive Information
A now former employee of the Hamilton County Clerk of Courts office is facing a list of criminal charges for providing confidential information from search warrants to potential targets of criminal investigations.
A grand jury returned indictments Thursday against 45-year-old Yakykma Boyd.
Ernest Bryant, 49, was also indicted. He's described as an acquaintance and is charged with assisting her in releasing and disseminating the information.
The charges against Boyd include tampering with records, bribery, obstructing justice, theft in office and engaging in a pattern of corrupt activity. If convicted of all charges, she faces up to 21 years in prison.
Bryant faces those charges, too, and possession of cocaine, trafficking in cocaine and having weapons under disability. He faces 43 years in prison if convicted on all charges.
Prosecutor Joe Deters calls Boyd's actions disturbing.
"We have someone who was entrusted with very sensitive information, information that could lead to the death or injury of police officers, other drug dealers, things of that nature," Deters says. "In that respect, I don't think Ms. Boyd understands the significance of what she was doing."
Boyd worked at the clerk's office for 22 years.
Deters says his office isn't sure how long the activity had been going on or how many cases might have been affected. He says the belief is she was being paid $1,000 for information about each search warrant.
A deputy sheriff says officers became suspicious when they repeatedly found nothing when serving search warrants at places they were certain had drugs.
Deters says the cases are strong against both Boyd and Bryant.
Hamilton County Clerk of Courts Aftab Pureval had placed Boyd on leave. She has now been fired.
Pureval says the allegation that someone would use sensitive information for criminal activity is sickening.
"We are also in the midst of an extensive internal review to ensure that this was one bad actor and that she acted alone," Pureval says. "We are talking with colleagues and supervisors about what happened and how, and rest assured that we will not hesitate to take disciplinary action against any employee involved in this matter."
Pureval was elected in November 2016 and has made reforming the clerk of courts office a priority. He says this case will lead to further changes.
"All search warrants will be physically removed to a secure, locked location and will only be accessible by a supervisor," Pureval says. "Only the officer and the judge will know the details of a search warrant until it is executed. This will limit the exposure of information from falling into the wrong hands."
Pureval also announced that employees will go through background checks every four years and will be required to complete ethics training annually.