Man finds private tenant documents dumped in recycling

Man finds private tenant documents dumped in recycling »Play Video

PORTLAND, Ore. -- A Portland man said he was surprised to find documents with tenants' personal information dumped in the recycling bins at an apartment building in Downtown Portland.

Jeffrey Andersen says he works overnights as a desk monitor at the Musolf Manor on Northwest 3rd Avenue. He went to put something in the large blue recycling bins in the lobby of the building.

"I noticed the whole entire bin was just full of papers, stacks of papers," said Andersen.

He said the papers were documents that included tenant dates of birth, Social Security numbers and more.

"I pulled them out. I realized this was confidential, secure information from our tenants," said Andersen.

Andersen said the recycling bins are open to the approximately 100 people living in the building, along with their guests. And, he said, the recycling bins go out onto the street for pickup, so anyone could find the documents.

"I care for my tenants and I cannot allow this any longer," said Andersen. "We are supposed to be protecting them. We are supposed to be taking care of them."

Andersen said he told management about the problem and thought it was fixed.

But then he said he saw tenant documents dumped in the recycling bin again, including copies of tenant passports and driver licenses. Each time, he said, he rescued the documents from the bin.

"My mouth was on the ground. I just absolutely could not believe that, a third time, this happened," said Andersen. "I'm doing something about it. I can't stand by and watch any more."

Andersen contacted the KATU Problem Solvers.

The Problem Solvers went to Musolf Manor and asked the manager about the dumped documents. He told us to contact the Cascade Management corporate office in Southwest Portland.

"Supervisory staff has verified that our occupancy staff at the site follows the policy to promptly shred documents containing sensitive information," said Benjamin Wickham of Cascade Management in an email.

"If any of our employees, including any of the desk monitors, have concerns about situations where they perceive that Cascade policies are not being followed, we will actively review these concerns and investigate, taking any appropriate action where necessary to ensure that policies are clearly understood and followed," Wickham added.

Wickham said they had not yet talked with Andersen about the complaint.

Andersen said he worries that he will lose his job because he complained about the documents being handled carelessly. But he said he felt it was important to stop the problem to help the people living at Musolf Manor.

"I want accountability. I want accountability for these tenants," he said.