Santa Monica Observer - Community, Diversity, Sustainability and other Overused Words

By Christine Emerson
Observer Staff 

Cal State Bar staffer patronized AshleyMadison.com and is Outed

The website's tagline is "Life is short. Have an Affair." ​The website was hacked in July, 2015

 

August 24, 2016

The website's tagline is "Life is short. Have an Affair." ​The website was hacked in July, 2015

​This morning the Hews Media Group broke a story about prominent California legislators and their staff who use the Ashley Madison adultery website, some of them doing so on government time.

​Ashley Madison is a website that enables married individuals to find partners wishing to have extramarital affairs. The website's tagline is "Life is short. Have an Affair."

​The website was hacked in July, 2015 by a group calling itself "The Impact Team." The hackers tried to force Ashley Madison to shut its operations by threatening to release the names of its clients and their personally identifying information. When Ashley Madison balked at ceasing business, the hackers released the information of all of the website's 37 million users.

​37 million users. Think about that.

​Unfortunately, the release of email addresses was unusable to journalists who were unable to link the addresses, which could be false, with actual people. However, Hews Media Group hired a programmer to sort through the financial information that had also been released. They were able to match credit card numbers with computer IP addresses and home addresses.

​Hews Media claims that several prominent officials used the affair-promoting website, including one who ran for LA County Supervisor and another who is now angling for a statewide agency seat.

The website's tagline is "Life is short. Have an Affair." ​The website was hacked in July, 2015

​One name Hews Media did release was that of Trent Hager, Chief of Staff to California State Senator Cathleen Galgiani (D-Stockton) and now Adam Gray (D-Merced). Hager is married to Janelle Beland, who works for Governor Jerry Brown. Hager earns a yearly salary of $141,408.

​According to the Hews Media research, Hager used the adultery website on eleven occasions between September 2013 and May 2014. He made five credit card charges on the site during working hours. In 2014, Hager paid the site's $19 fee to have his information erased (money they should undoubtedly refund him).

​Hager told Hews Media on August 11, "Here's what I know. My credit card has been hacked 3 times in the last 4 years. The Legislative work hours are 35 hours per week. All employees are entitled to a lunch hour and breaks."

​Apparently, we are to make of that information what we will to exonerate him.

 

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