Valuable Lesson

It seems U.S. Sen. Maggie Hassan, D-N.H., should probably conduct more thorough background checks on those she hires to work in her office, in addition to doing a better job overseeing them once they are employed.

Wednesday, the Associated Press reported that Jackson A. Cosko, a former computer systems administrator in Hassan’s Washington, D.C. office, pleaded guilty to five federal offenses, including making public restricted personal information, computer fraud, witness tampering and obstruction of justice. For these offenses, he received a four-year prison sentence.

His sentencing came as a second former Hassan aide was charged with assisting Cosko in revealing the private information, an act commonly known as “doxing.” Samantha Deforest Davis, the former aide in question, worked as a staff assistant for Hassan until December. She faces misdemeanor charges of aiding and abetting computer fraud and attempted tampering with evidence.

Davis was fired in December after federal officials discovered her possible involvement in the case.

As for Cosko, the AP reported Hassan fired him last year for failing to follow office procedures. His access to the senator’s office and her computer systems was severed.

Cosko then allegedly began an “extensive computer fraud and data theft scheme” that he carried out by repeatedly burglarizing Hassan’s office. He reportedly copied dozens of gigabytes of data from office computers, including dozens of user names and passwords belonging to Senate employees and personal contact information for numerous sitting senators.

A Justice Department statement and court records also describe how Cosko threatened a witness who saw him at a computer in Hassan’s office on the night of Oct. 2. The witness, who isn’t identified by name, confronted Cosko and he left the office.

For the sake of New Hampshire and, in fact, the whole nation, we hope Hassan has learned to more thoroughly supervise those who work in her Washington, D.C. office.