Attorney questions release of sensitive medical records of city official

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ST. MARTINVILLE, La. (KLFY) St. Martinville Mayor Melinda Mitchell wants to know who shared information over the weekend on the results of her COVID-19 test.

Her attorney says that could be a violation of HIPAA laws that protect a person’s medical information.

Meanwhile, St. Martinville Police Chief Rickey Martin says he doesn’t have any symptoms, and
any work that he needs to do he’s going to do it from home.

“I just want to be safe. I’m going to get tested. I’m going to quarantine for 14 days and I’ll get tested tomorrow morning.”

Martin says he will touch base with his lead officers in a conference call every few days .

“I’m doing work from my ipad but I have my chief deputy and command staff handling their business at the police department. Everything is working out so far.”

Meanwhile the mayor’s attorney, Ferdinand Valteau says they are looking into the release of the mayor’s medical information without her permission.

If information has been released, Valteau says, there’s a chance HIPAA laws could have been violated.

“Currently we are investigating. If any action is necessary, we will certainly consider it if the laws allow for it. If HIPAA laws were broken and there is a remedy in that; and the fact that those laws were broken we will take appropriate action.”

In regards to the council meeting, the chief says he plans to call in and says he couldn’t speak for everyone else.

The chief says there’s no one to blame here.

“This could happen to anybody. Anybody could be quarantined. Anybody could test positive. Nobody has control over it.”

Also the chief says he’s the only one in his office under the self quarantine.

Chief Martin says he called-in by way of tele-conference.

Renee Allen, KLFY News 10.

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