As first reported by CNN, the Obama Transition Team (OTT) was notified Wednesday by officials at Verizon that employees of that company had accessed the records of an old cell phone that’s no longer in use once used by President-elect Obama. It’s a phone that OTT officials say hasn’t been used in quite some time, though they’re not sure how long.
OTT officials were told that Verizon is taking disciplinary action, and they were assured there had been no monitoring of email, voicemail or BlackBerry messages, or anything like that.
UPDATE: BASKING RIDGE, N.J. – Verizon Wireless President and CEO Lowell McAdam made the following statement today:
“This week we learned that a number of Verizon Wireless employees have, without authorization, accessed and viewed President-Elect Barack Obama’s personal cell phone account. The account has been inactive for several months. The device on the account was a simple voice flip-phone, not a BlackBerry or other smartphone designed for e-mail or other data services.
“All employees who have accessed the account –- whether authorized or not -– have been put on immediate leave, with pay. As the circumstances of each individual employee’s access to the account are determined, the company will take appropriate actions. Employees with legitimate business needs for access will be returned to their positions, while employees who have accessed the account improperly and without legitimate business justification will face appropriate disciplinary action. We apologize to President-Elect Obama and will work to keep the trust our customers place in us every day.”