Computer expert sues first lady : LUSENET : TimeBomb 2000 (Y2000) : One Thread

Wednesday, September 15, 1999

Computer expert sues first lady

Worker claims demotion followed doubts of White House data system

Ed Bailey / Associated Press

Former White House computer expert Sheryl Hall claims Hillary Rodham Clinton and other officials ruined her career for objecting to use a White House database for political purposes.

By John Hanchette / Gannett News Service

WASHINGTON -- A White House computer expert has sued Hillary Rodham Clinton and several administration officials, claiming they demoted her after she objected to converting a White House computer system for political purposes. In a federal civil complaint last week in Alexandria, Va., Sheryl Hall claimed her career in the Executive Office of the President fell apart after she "expressed reservations about the legality" of using the White House office database -- commonly called "WhoDB" -- for "political activity." Hall, 50, transferred to a Treasury Department job Monday. An employee with high performance ratings, Hall originally worked for the Pentagon supervising Navy contract computer information. She transferred to the White House in 1992 and was supervising 38 employees in late 1993 when she objected to the database changes. By the time she left the White House for the Treasury job, that number was down to one worker who reported to her as she carried out what amounted to clerking duties on Y2K problems. Besides Clinton, named in the suit are presidential deputy Marsha Scott, who was in charge of assembling WhoDB; Mark Lindsay, director of the White House office of administration; correspondence office employees Eric Vaden and Laura Tayman, who once worked for Hall; and "John and Jane Does 1 through 5," described in the suit as "certain presently unknown officials and agents of the White House." Hall asks $300,000 from each for "mental anguish ... and damage to her professional reputation and good name." The $1.7 million WhoDB computer system became controversial in February 1997. Gannett News Service then reported its computer sourcing codes contained several fields referencing campaign contributions and remarkably detailed personal information on large Democratic donors and Clinton financial supporters -- despite adamant White House denials the database was designed for political purposes or fund-raising. It was used purely for social purposes -- like Christmas card lists and party invitations -- the White House argued. Various congressional probes followed.

Copyright 1999, The Detroit News

-- Homer Beanfang (, September 15, 1999


Another casualty! Would be interesting to note who has replaced her?

-- Elaine Seavey (, September 15, 1999.

O, what a tangled web we weave, When first we practise to deceive!

Sir Walter Scott

-- no talking please (, September 15, 1999.

Is that Mrs. Clinton or Ms. Hall in the photo accompnying the Detroit News article? I have to assume it's the former; otherwise we've got some weird "separated-at-birth" situation here...

-- Mac (sneak@lurk.hid), September 15, 1999.

Her expertise and honesty...yeah right...from someone who knows a lot about both.

-- Burt Plumber (, November 22, 2004.

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