by ANDY SEVILLA
Sensitive city information could have been leaked after the city’s attorney forgot his city-issued cell phone in a downtown hotel in San Antonio Sunday.
At around noon Sunday the Hays Free Press received a phone call from the Loss Prevention department of the Omni hotel asking if it was known to whom the cell phone from which they were calling belonged.
The cell phone was, in fact, the one issued to Kyle City Attorney Julian Grant.
The hotel said they were calling phone numbers that had recently been dialed on that cell phone in an effort to find the owner.
In an age of evolving technology, city employees connect their city email to their smart phones, effectively rendering any information in it available to anyone who could find missing or lost city property.
“Obviously things that are confidential are confidential, but my best policy is that if something is confidential you talk with someone,” Grant said. “Yeah, there’s stuff here (in the city issued cell phone) certainly that, there are certain emails that I might give the council or send them a confidential memo. Obviously if anyone’s office is open at any point it’s there, or if a cell phone is left somewhere, there’s always that problem.”
Grant said he accidentally took his cell phone with him on his personal trip to San Antonio and human error was to blame as the cause for leaving the city phone behind.
“It was forgetfulness,” Grant said. “It was a personal trip, and you were the last person apparently I talked to and that’s why they called you.”
Grant said he noticed nearly 24-hours later that his city phone was missing.
“I have a secure place that I keep it (the phone), personally, and noticed it wasn’t there and at that point realized that yeah, so, yeah,” Grant said. “I instantly got in touch with them (the Omni in San Antonio), and I was told that (City Manager) Lanny Lambert was in the process of picking it up.”
“It’s probably not the first time I, or anyone else, has left a cell phone somewhere … I don’t know what else to say. We’re all human, we’ve all done it,” Grant said.
Kyle council members were alert to the potential problem.
“I called the hotel and ensured the phone is being kept in the hotel safe and will be retrieved early tomorrow morning,” said council member Samantha Bellows-LeMense.
Council member Becky Selbera did not discount the importance of the misplaced city property and the existing potential for sensitive city business being leaked, but said that it was a personnel matter that the council, as a whole, will look into.
“I can assure you this matter will be dealt with,” said council member Diane Hervol.