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Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Noble Communications, Carol Jones Realtors, Jack Henry, and Palmer Oliver law firm are among SW Missouri firms housing Ashley Madison customers

Some of the best-known health-care facilities and law firms in the Ozarks region of southwest Missouri have high-level employees who appear as paying customers at the Ashley Madison (IM) extramarital-affair Web site.

Also represented on the list . . . an advertising agency with a national footprint and a base in Chicago (Noble Communications), a finance/technology company with locations in roughly 20 states (Jack Henry and Associates), one of the largest mortgage companies in the Midwest (Gershman Mortgage), and two of the area's most vibrant real-estate firms (Murney and Associates and Carol Jones Realtors).

Health-care facilities represented include Cox Health Center, Mercy Medical Center, Smith Glynn Callaway Clinic, Missouri Eye Institute, and Ferrell Duncan Clinic.

The legal community is well represented, including Palmer Oliver law firm, Chaney and McCurry law firm, Turner Reid Duncan law firm, Norrid and Robertson law firm, Appleby Healy law firm, Crites law firm, and more.

Springfield is the third largest city in Missouri, with a population of about 164,000. It's closest comparator in Alabama probably is Huntsville (186,000), with Springfield's economy evolving around health care and education (the city is home to Missouri State University, Drury University, and Evangel University, plus a highly regarded public-schools system), and Huntsville's featuring space-related research, technology, engineering, and the military.

The business centers of Missouri are Kansas City (467,000) and St. Louis (318,000). The metro St. Louis area of 2.8 million is the state's largest, followed by Kansas City metro at 2.1 million.

Our research, so far, has focused only on the Ozarks region around Springfield. We will get to St. Louis and Kansas City later, but we already can see a trend that is apparent in Alabama. High-end professionals and executives--lawyers, doctors, bankers, engineers, educators--are big-time users of Ashley Madison services, even though the Web site apparently offers little in the way of actual services.

Focusing on the Springfield area, here is what our Missouri research shows so far. You might say this is the tip of the Show-Me State's AM iceberg.

Missouri companies or institutions with one or more Ashley Madison customers

* Smith Glynn Callaway Clinic

* Jack Henry and Associates

* Missouri State University

* Murney and Associates

* Noble Counseling

* Incredible Pizza

* Norrid and Robertson law firm

* Cox Health Center

* Carol Jones Realtors

* Missouri Eye Institute

Noble Communications, home to at least one Ashley
Madison customer in Springfield, MO
(From iamchrisbrewer.com)
* Drury University

* Crites law firm

* Executive Coach Builders

* Springfield First Community Bank

* Palmer Oliver law firm

* Chaney and McCurry law firm

* Ferrell Duncan Clinic

* Turner Reid Duncan law firm

* Noble Communications

* Gorman-Scharpf Funeral Home

* Appleby Healy law firm

* Gershman Mortgage

* Mercy Medical Center


Anonymous said...

That sound you hear is sphincters getting tight all over Missouri.

Anonymous said...

You better be real sure where these people work. Occupation and company name were not part of the hack, so you wouldn't be simply reporting on info others found for you. People change jobs frequently and it has been awhile since this data became public. A company might not like that you mistakenly identified them in this...

Slippery slope here schnauz...

Anonymous said...

I don't think this is relevant or even interesting. And, it is a gross violation of privacy. Even if this data is out there, it is stolen.

Let's say a clinic that provides abortion services provider gets hacked, and data on women who had abortions gets dumped on the web. Would you publish the list of women who exercised bad sexual judgment that led to abortions in that scenario? Would you justify that conduct by "only" publishing a list of women who are in professions like law or medicine? If your answer is "yes" then you are sick. If you answer is "no" then you should not be publishing this data either.

And, don't give us a health care information is different shtick -- while the privacy laws may be tighter for health care information than for something like Ashley Madison, the AM data (a) was stolen and (b) was given by the users with the expectation that their sexual preferences, desires, and choices, would be kept private. All also true in the abortion scenario I just gave. Both scenarios are about poor sexual choices and whether they supposedly show bad judgment.

Privacy is privacy, whether the persons at issue are men or women, rich or poor, black or white. You are better than this, Schnauzer. Stop slut-shaming these people.

legalschnauzer said...

You raise a solid point, @10:32. My main reply is, assuming you are a long-time reader, do you think this blog has a history of being well-researched?

legalschnauzer said...

I appreciate your firmly held beliefs on this, @10:44, but I disagree on several fronts:

* Whether this data is stolen or not, the U.S. Supreme Court has found that it is lawful for journalists to report on it. The key case is Bartnicki v. Vopper: Here is URL--https://scholar.google.com/scholar_case?case=2171346211086974391&hl=en&as_sdt=6&as_vis=1&oi=scholarr

* I disagree with your abortion scenario of a "list of women who exercised bad sexual judgment." It takes two to create a pregnancy, so a woman hardly is alone in making judgments one way or another. I absolutely would not publish from such a list, or one from any other health-care environment

* You might not like the "health-care information is different argument," but it's on point. And a lot of that information says nothing about one's judgment; it simply shows, in many cases, conditions that one has been forced to face, and society has set up laws to protect that information. The argument is valid.

* Not sure how you define "slut shaming," but I don't think this is it. It looks to me like very few people had sex as a result of Ashley Madison. In my view, this is about people forming a business relationship with a company that should have been seen as dubious from the outset. I agree with the Impact Team that for a company to promote extramarital affairs is gross, and how otherwise intelligent people could get involved in such an activity blows my mind.

We claim to be a "Christian nation," but a lot of us (especially among the privileged) sure don't seem to hold Christian marriage in very high regard. What does that say about us as a society? I think that's a story, and that's why I'm pursuing it.

Anonymous said...

Stay on the story, Schnauzer. Out the bastards and ignore the naysayers.

Skeezer said...

I don't understand your point, @10:32. No one is accusing the companies of wrongdoing. They might want to fire their Ashley Madison people, and they probably would have lawful grounds for doing so. But I don't see how it reflects badly on the company itself. It just says they hired somebody who did something stupid in his spare time.

Anonymous said...

This is @10:44.

I'm a big fan of your reporting on the police situation, and the corruption that is rampant in legal and political circles. These problems threaten individual liberty in so many ways. But loss of privacy is one of the issues we face in 21st Century America. I don't think the average citizen realizes how little information is private these days, whether the snoops are in government or in business.

One of the hallmarks of any police state is that no information is safe from public prying eyes. It interferes with personal liberty. When the public has an interest in everything, nothing is safe. This is not about whether the AM customers are "bastards" (nod to @11:08), Christians, or hypocrites. It's about whether there is an expectation of privacy in our country. And, if we protect bastards and hypocrites then we protect everyone. Kind-of like when Larry Flynt won his case -- if the first amendment protects him then it protects everyone.

I understand the law on this, but think about this: you may see the abortion scenario as different and would exercise discretion. Would some anti-choice right-wing nut job see it that way? Would that person credibly be able to use your AM reporting as a precedent? Yes, I think . . .

On slut-shaming: I did not need to know that Rob Campbell likes to dine at the Y. You could have left that sort of detail out . . .

Anonymous said...

This is @10:44 again.

I neglected to say that I do agree with the Christian thing. But I don't think it is enough of a problem to overcome the privacy implications of what your are doing with this data.

That's all I have, thank you for publishing all views including those that disagree with you.

Anonymous said...

11:13...exactly! It's what these people did in their "spare" time, dumb or whatever. However, LS implies in a reply to his prior AM post that just because someone made a dumb decision in their spare time, that these same people then would be more likely to do bad things at work...tax writeoffs, layoffs, bailouts, etc. If LS names person X at a company accusing him/her (and their associated companies) of those type of actions...you don't think a company will be upset?

LS has never uttered truer words when he says he's never sat in a boardroom or made decisions like these. It's called corporate governance and deals with board of directors, audit committees, and regulatory bodies making sure these type of items don't occur.

Listen...plenty of bad decisions have been made in the corporate world with the vast majority NOT being anywhere near Ashley Madison. Making s dumb decision in our "spare" time while acting professionally occurs everyday, everywhere. Should we just list everyone in Birmingham with a job?

Implying a company has done something shady just because a person works there is a very reason why a company can be upset, among other things. Slippery slope...

Anonymous said...

Seems to me you're treading on dubious ethical grounds here journalistically, Schnauz. A politician or a religious leader- sure, I can see where an Ashley Madison account is relevant. But businesspeople and professionals? Publishing their account information accomplishes nothing besides causing pain, heartache, and embarrassment in their personal life- to them and to their innocent families.

"They deserve that for signing up for an adultery site!" might be your response. Perhaps so- but is it really a journalist's job to morally judge people who aren't public servants? Or to expose them to let others judge them? "Judge not, lest ye be judged" is the appropriate Bible quote. I'm much more interested in reading about the police abuse involved in your wife's arrest and about the political corruption in Alabama, for example, than I am in reading about some obscure lawyer, doctor, or businessman who foolishly signed up for an Ashley Madison account.

legalschnauzer said...

For those who disagree with the decision to cover the Ashley Madison story, I will point out that it does not preclude my coverage of police brutality, political corruption, court sleaze, etc. I still will be covering those topics. A blog is a flexible animal. It provides room for a wide range of coverage.

Anonymous said...

I totally agree with you LS. Your reporting on police brutality, political corruption, court sleaze, misappropriation of public funds, etc are what brought us to your site. I think the collective feedback you are hearing on the AM content is that it is not about any of those things...just a dumb decision by certain private citizens. It seems very out of scope with your other excellent investigative work on the very items you list. Your focus on injustice is needed now more than ever....just keep it to that.

Just one long time readers opinion

Anonymous said...

Is it possible that those who are against Ashley Madison coverage are on the Ashley Madison list for Alabama or Missouri--or they know someone who is? Maybe you are getting close to goring someone's ox?

legalschnauzer said...

Hah, hadn't thought of that one, @2:27. I don't think that's the case, but who knows.

Robby Scott Hill said...

Sadly, I won't be able to comment on the Kansas City situation. It hits way too close to home with my current employer & two of my former employers which I left on good terms with being based there. However, I do encourage management to hold their people accountable as appropriate should anyone appear on the paid list, but those decisions are above my pay grade. Interestingly, when it comes to single men who aren't subject to the Uniform Code of Military Justice seeking a married woman & vice versa or same versa for our newly endowed LGBT friends, you have to look to state law to determine who is legally committing adultery. For example, I have loved some unhappily married & separated women in Tennessee. The law of the Volunteer State says I may avail myself of a married woman's affections & she's the only one who is legally committing the adultery. Even then it's merely a ground for divorce. The same situation is true in Texas, Louisiana & Alaska. No wonder Hank Williams, Jr. spent so much time in Tennessee & Texas and wrote that song about Texas Women. Texas, Tennessee & Alaksa have no income tax. Texas especially has some generous laws that allow a poor man to get into the pants of a wealthy, married woman whose husband isn't paying her enough attention, while Alaksa is so crazy, not only will they not tax you when you visit to steal a married woman, they will actually PAY YOU to move up there & compete for the affections of a good looking married woman. Texas is a community property state. So your adulterous Tejana comes with half her property acquired during the marriage and y'all don't pay state income tax on your joint income. Texas Women in particular are financially powerful and will love your broke ass if you are lucky enough to steal one whose husband isn't taking care of her business! Texas won't even allow wage garnishment should the ex-husband manage to obtain a judgment against you for anything. Don't mess with Texas, but Texas encourages you to mess around!

Anonymous said...

We don't live in a christian nation. Anyone claiming that, is either ignorant or has an agenda. This country was founded to be free to chose your religion or lack thereof.

Robby Scott Hill said...

Anonymous 5:15 is right we don't live in a Christian Nation or it would close all these legal loopholes that allow single men to steal married women, lawyers to write themselves into widow's wills & the rich & powerful to not pay taxes while the poor starve in the streets and those who still have jobs are reduced to wage slavery. It's fucked up, but one thing is for certain - "God blessed Texas with His own hands. Brought down Angels to the Promised Land. I've been sent to spread the message. God blessed Texas!" If you need relief from court judgments & want to start a new life, move your ass to Texas.

nationof gandhis said...

How about outing. Christia churches and terrorism promotio? The EU bans hate speech and is prosecuted. 1st amendment aside, incitement is more like it.

Brian said...

There is a risk of listing company names and linking them to Ashley Madison that they might sue if they believe that the article is tarnishing their image.


legalschnauzer said...


There is a risk of a lot of things. You and I take a risk every morning when we get out of bed.

Any journalist or blogger who is hyper worried about lawsuits should find another field of endeavor.

A reminder: If you are talking about a defamation claim, and it sounds like you are, the material has to be false. If the employee does or did work at the company, and it therefore is true, the company has no claim. And it can face repercussions for filing a groundless lawsuit.

Anonymous said...

In all of this, you seem to want to point out people who can "decide things about you" and make decisions on that. Just make sure that the people you expose can actually have that influence. I imagine a number of mid to lower level manager might be on the list but have absolutely nothing to do with deciding the fate of any decision. Why expose them? What good will that do?

Anonymous said...

What in the heck is that thing in the picture of the Noble Communications building?

legalschnauzer said...

It's the world's largest fork (I think). They apparently do a lot of advertising with food companies--hence, the fork.