"They worked in the same office and they had access to information that is defined as confidential and within the work environment, that information gets shared among them on a daily basis," Reed said. "What happened here was information that she shared with a co-worker, in turn, got out of the office, which is wrong."
Reed said he believes Carson didn't know what the information would be used for until after she had already released a sizable portion of it, and had therefore participated in the crime. The information was provided to Bassett months before it was delivered to various law enforcement agencies and media outlets in July, under the name "Concerned Citizens of the United States."
"It's pretty egregious conduct," Reed said. "What Leah Carson did was wrong, but the ripple effect, the political effect and the ideological impact may be much more profound than the criminal conduct in this case."
Reed repeated to Hilder that the ripple effect in the community was larger than the crime, but that prosecutors were happy with the deal in both cases. He said Monday that no official action was ever taken involving the list, which called for the deportation of those it contained.
The infamous list caused a huge stir in the community when it came to light in July. Carson and Bassett lost their jobs as a result of the accusations and the investigations that followed.
A trio of Latino community leaders lashed out against the plea deals during a media conference held at Centro Civico Mexicano, saying the punishment didn't fit a crime that spread terror among undocumented Utahns.
"For weeks, people were sure there would be a thump on the door and somebody coming to arrest them and take them away," Utah La Raza chairman Archie Archuleta said.
The impact of the list being compiled was hardest on the U.S.-born children of the men and women whose names appeared on the list, Archuleta said, describing their fears that they would be left alone.
Yapias said many parents are no longer applying for the medical and other government benefits their children are entitled to because they don't want to risk appearing on another list. Even though no one was deported as a result of the list, he said the families are doing without the benefits.
"Like everything else, at the end of the day, we're shortchanging the kids," Yapias said.
Frank Cordova, Centro Civico president, said the damage done by the list includes perpetuating the perception many have that if someone's skin in brown, they are in the country illegally. They're "all treated as if they are undocumented," he said.
Contributing: Lisa Riley Roche
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