She says she's just being singled out because she is a Muslim. And I'm sure that's true. I'm sure there are plenty of 911 operators illegally searching the terror watch list, and they're getting off scot-free. It's Islamophobia, I tell you, and I'm not going to take it anymore! "Ex-911 operator accused of illegal database searches," by Brian Sharp and Victoria E. Freile for the Rochester Democrat and Chronicle, May 8 (thanks to JHN):
A former city 911 operator faces multiple felony counts for illegally searching state driving records and state police databases that included the FBI's terrorist watch list, officials said Wednesday.
The fired employee, Nadire P. Zenelaj, 32, of Rochester insists she did nothing wrong and is being singled out because she is Muslim.
"I feel they targeted me because of my religion," said Zenelaj, who worked at the 911 center for nearly six years. "I have no criminal history. I have never gone against the law."
Richard Vega, director of the city's Office of Public Integrity, said Zenelaj was "running personal information on herself, on her family and on friends. I think it went beyond curiosity. ... We think she was accessing this information to pass it on to others."
At least one of the 227 names that Zenelaj searched for was on the terrorist watch list, according to police. She was fired in December, arrested Tuesday and pleaded not guilty Wednesday to misdemeanor official misconduct and 232 felony counts of computer trespass — one for each allegedly illegal search.
As for knowing someone on the watch list, Zenelaj said: "Regardless of that person, I've seen many people on many lists."...
Vega said misconduct was the sole reason for Zenelaj's termination. He added that the city even went back through training materials and records to try to find any support for Zenelaj's claims. However, anyone who went through the training signed a document agreeing not to search personal information, he said.
Trainees also had to take a test, which included a question that specifically addressed the prohibition against personal searches. "She got that question right," Vega said....