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Ex-state employee named in Ashley Madison hack says he was unfairly fired

His boss only searched his email because of the hack.


Mary Emily O'Hara


Posted on Aug 31, 2016   Updated on May 26, 2021, 3:15 am CDT

Computer technician Ronald Sanchez was fired from his state job after his name showed up in the leaked database of Ashley Madison users last year.

Sanchez said he never signed up on the famous cheating-spouse site, but when his employer—New Mexico’s Administrative Office of the Courts—searched his work email, they found that he had used it for personal messages. As a result, Sanchez was fired.

“The problem is everybody was doing it, and he was held to a higher standard without telling him,” Sanchez’s attorney Robert Beauvais told the Santa Fe New Mexican. “He has 11 years of exemplary conduct. Everybody and his dog was doing the same thing he was, including four judges, and yet they fire him for that, and we thought that wasn’t fair.”

Basically, being on the Ashley Madison list made Sanchez’s employers search his email account when they wouldn’t have otherwise. Now Sanchez is fighting the dismissal, petitioning the court to reverse the decision he believes was unfair and subjected him to a double standard.

New Mexico Assistant Attorney General Timothy Williams, who is representing Sanchez’s former employer, said that only two employees were subjected to the email searches because both had been named in the Ashley Madison leak. But, said Williams in court documents, the other employee’s email hadn’t contained “egregious” content. Regardless, that employee resigned as a result of the email search.

The July 2015 Ashley Madison hack exposed the personal information of roughly 36 million people. Among them were employees of Congress and the military, citizens of states and countries where adultery is illegal, Josh Duggar, LGBT people living in nations that ban homosexuality, and even a Christian pastor who committed suicide as a result of the leak.

In August, hacking victims whose names and personal information were revealed in the massive data dump filed a class action lawsuit in Canada—seeking more than $500 million.

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*First Published: Aug 31, 2016, 5:37 pm CDT