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DEA paid Amtrak secretary $854,460 for passenger lists

WASHINGTON – The Drug Enforcement Administration paid an Amtrak secretary $854,460 during a period of nearly 20 years to obtain confidential information about train passengers it could have lawfully obtained free through a law enforcement network, the Associated Press has learned.

The employee was not publicly identified except as a “secretary to a train and engine crew” in a one-paragraph summary of the incident by Amtrak’s inspector general.

The secretary was allowed to retire, rather than face administrative discipline, after the discovery that the employee “regularly” sold private passenger information since 1995 without Amtrak’s approval.

On Monday, the office of Amtrak Inspector General Tom Howard declined to identify the secretary or say why it took so long to uncover the payments.

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