New York State Inspector General Letizia Tagliafierro and Staten Island District Attorney Michael E. McMahon today announced the felony guilty plea and resignation of a New York State Department of Motor Vehicle (DMV) supervisor who improperly accessed a woman’s personal DMV records and provided them to the woman’s estranged spouse against whom a restraining order had been filed.
Anthony Cataldi, 53, of Honey Lane in Staten Island, pleaded guilty to felony Computer Trespass in Richmond County Supreme Court on Thursday, May 30, and simultaneously resigned his position with the State.
An investigation by Offices of the Inspector General found that on two separate occasions, Cataldi, who was employed as a Supervising Motor Vehicle Representative 1 at the Richmond County DMV office, wrongfully and knowingly accessed the personal records of a woman and relayed that information to that woman’s estranged spouse against whom a court issued order of protection had been filed, and to whom Cataldi was acquainted. On May 29 and June 15, 2018, Cataldi utilized the DMV’s proprietary COMPASS system to access an individual’s vehicle records, including the addresses associated with her vehicles, at the request of that individual’s estranged spouse. The COMPASS system is an internal DMV computer program that is unique to the agency and cannot be accessed remotely. It requires unique log-ins that are provided to DMV employees only and is not meant to be used for anything but official DMV business.
The woman whose information was obtained by Cataldi filed a complaint with the DMV after her estranged husband called her and let her know he had specific information about her vehicles. The woman knew that her estranged husband was acquainted with Cataldi, and she knew that Cataldi worked for the DMV.
“The defendant abused his position and disregarded his obligation to protect sensitive and confidential information, potentially compromising the safety of an individual who had obtained a court order of protection,” said Inspector General Tagliafierro. “Such conduct will not be tolerated, and the Offices of the Inspector General will continue to ensure that those who engage is such conduct are held accountable.
“Not only did this defendant use his position at the DMV to illegally access a woman’s personal records, he then disclosed that information to the victim’s estranged spouse against whom a court order of protection had been filed,” said District Attorney McMahon. “My office will not tolerate such egregious violations of an individual’s privacy and safety, and we will continue to work together with the New York State Inspector General’s office to hold bad actors accountable at every turn.”
Concurrent to his plea, Cataldi was sentenced to a three-year conditional discharge.
Inspector General Tagliafierro thanked the New York State Department of Motor Vehicles for their assistance with the investigation and District Attorney McMahon and his office for their prosecution of this case.