ABC News’ Matt Jaffe reports: Nine Illinois state employees face suspension after officials found that they had used state records to look up President-elect Barack Obama’s address, as first reported Thursday evening by the Associated Press.
"I don’t think that there was any indication that what they did was anything serious," Dave Druker, spokesman for Secretary of State Jesse White, told ABC News. "We take it seriously, but they were just being busy-bodies."
Druker said the nine employees were all independently looking up Obama’s address. The employees, who work for the Department of Motor Vehicles under the supervision of the Secretary of State, now face a minimum three-day suspension without pay, although as union workers they have the right to appeal.
"They looked up his street address," Druker said. "That’s all they would have access to."
But the state computers are monitored. When the violations were discovered, an investigation was launched and the Secret Service was notified.
"It doesn’t appear that there was anything nefarious about it," Druker noted. "It was just kind of goofy. They were doing something inappropriate that they shouldn’t have been doing."
"It would have been impossible for them to get to his house anyway," he added.
Obama’s Chicago residence is heavily guarded by Secret Service.
"I would assume that they’d be embarrassed," said Druker of the employees. "Hopefully this will send a message that we don’t want this done. We’re constantly looking at ways to improve security."
Calls and emails to the Obama Transition Team were not immediately returned Thursday night.
Just last month, Verizon Wireless fired employees for accessing Obama’s old phone records.