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46 NJ tax employees accused of record-snooping

April 23, 2012
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TRENTON, N.J.—A state investigation has found that nearly four dozen New Jersey Division of Taxation employees improperly looked at the tax records of their co-workers, a Treasury Department spokesman said Monday.

Four workers have been suspended without pay and face being fired, while another has resigned rather than be fired.

State Treasury spokesman Andy Pratt says auditors are trying to determine why 46 workers snooped on their colleagues. He says the investigation began in September, months after the department received a tip alleging the snooping.

Pratt said he could not release the names or the job titles of the employees involved.

It's not clear whether any employees improperly looked at the returns of anyone outside the department. There has not been any probable cause to launch an investigation into that, Pratt said.

The state Division of Criminal Justice has been monitoring the internal investigation, but Pratt said no criminal probe is under way. He said the new chief internal auditor for the Treasury Department will be tasked with making sure employees are not improperly looking at the records of one another -- or anyone else.

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