Prosecutors have filed drug and spousal battery charges against a Cuesta College employee already under investigation for allegedly sending private college personnel data to a personal email account.
Lacey Fowler, who is on leave from her position as a human resources analyst at Cuesta College, had already been charged with one felony count of illegally accessing computer data.
She was scheduled to be arraigned on that charge Monday morning in San Luis Obispo Superior Court, but a judge continued the hearing to allow Fowler more time to hire an attorney, Assistant District Attorney Lee Cunningham said.
Early this month, Cuesta College administration sent an email to its staff alerting them of a security breach in the college’s employee database and that personal employee information had been sent to one employee’s personal email account. That information included home addresses, telephone numbers, email addresses and Social Security numbers.
A Cuesta College Police Department investigation into the breach led investigators to serve a search warrant at the Paso Robles home Fowler shared with her husband, Chad Lee Fowler.
During the search, officials allegedly discovered 4.5 pounds of methamphetamine and about 7 ounces of heroin, worth a reported $27,000, in a storage container on the property.
Chad Fowler was arrested on suspicion of possessing the drugs and has since been charged with felony possession of heroin and methamphetamine with an enhancement for possessing more than a kilogram.
The District Attorney’s Office formally added Lacey Fowler to that case when it filed similar charges against her on June 25, according to court records.
In addition, prosecutors filed misdemeanor drug and paraphernalia possession charges against her on June 23 for an offense that allegedly occurred May 30 — one day before the suspected data breach.
No other details of that case have yet been made public.
Furthermore, prosecutors on June 18 — the same day Lacey Fowler was arrested on suspicion of the data breach — filed another misdemeanor charge of battery on a spouse over an unspecified June 5 incident. According to court records, Lacey Fowler is suspected of violating a restraining order, filed by her husband, the same day as the alleged battery.
Details within the restraining order are not public.
Neither Lacey nor Chad Fowler have entered pleas in their cases yet, and both remain out of custody. Chad Fowler is scheduled for a further arraignment July 13; Lacey is set to be arraigned on all her charges July 6.