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By Brian Hews
A Hews Media Group-Community News exclusive investigation has found that Trent Hager, Chief of Staff to Senator Cathleen Galgiani (D-Stockton CA) and now Adam Gray (D-Merced), paid to contact escorts on the Ashley Madison adultery website and did most of the illicit work while on state time.
Hager earns a hefty $141,408 per year according to the Senate.ca.gov website and is married to Janelle Beland, who works for Governor Jerry Brown.
The information implicating Hager is publicly available, part of the Ashley Madison data dump that occurred in 2015.
The results of the HMG-CN investigation, which will reveal more names of elected officials in the coming days, are quite shocking and will most certainly have repercussions up and down the state of California.
Ashley Madison is a website for those who are interested in committing adultery, and a website that touts themselves as “the most recognized and reputable extramarital affair company in the world.”
The website made headlines in July 2015 when a group calling itself “The Impact Team” stole data and threatened to release users’ names and personally identifying information if Ashley Madison was not immediately shut down.
Ashley Madison refused to shut down, so the hackers released the information of all 37 million users online.
Journalists initially searched for prominent names in the database using email addresses. Those email addresses were used as usernames to access the site.
But a user could enter a false email as a username thus ending the search effort. Consequently, those investigations did not reveal what was hidden deeper in the database.
No one in the media took a serious look at the financial records contained in the data dump until HMG-CN commissioned a programmer to sort the gigabytes of information into a searchable format.
And the results were shocking to say the least.
Categories were broken down by name, address, card number, IP address, the time the card was charged and registered email.
Specific Financial Data-
Once on Ashley Madison, if a user wanted to take the next step and pay to contact a young woman to have an affair, the user would need to input a valid credit card number and information related to that card number.
Similar to any other website, the name, billing address, and zip code related to the card would have to match, as well as expiration date and the three-digit “CVV” number.
But the Madison system went further, showing the date and time of the transaction while also recording the IP address of the computer.
After the information was sorted, HMG-CN found many prominent elected official’s names, with Hager among them.
As additional data is released, the elected officials names will become more prominent; one ran for a Los Angeles County Supervisor seat, another is running for a statewide agency seat.
The database showed Hager using the site on eleven occasions between September 2013 and May 2014.
And Hager was surfing the Madison site while on state time, making five charges on the site during regular working hours.
The data shows Hager charging on the site on the following days:
Friday, October 4, 2013 at 4:47 pm
Monday, October 7, 2013 at 2:54 pm
Monday, May 12, 2014 at 1:36 pm
Tuesday, May 20, 2014 at 2:24 pm
Tuesday, May 27 at 1:37 pm.
All charges were under Trent Hager, with the card ending in 3975, an email of [email protected] and his address on Marina Glen Rd.
Given the multiple uses on the site, the Hager information is indisputable and proves he used the site during business hours.
Further, Hager cannot claim he was “just looking” because he paid to contact a specific person.
He also opted for higher levels of contact paying for the “Elite Level.”
Some of those charges occurred at night or early in the morning on:
Sept. 30, 2013
Dec. 6 2013
Jan. 5 2014
Jan. 28, 2014
Mar. 29, 2014
Apr. 28, 2014.
Finally, the charges of December, January, March, April, and May show that Hager paid the $19 fee to have the site erase his information, virtually admitting he was guilty of using the site.
This was the feature that reportedly caused the hacktivists at Impact Team to cry foul and release the data.
HMG-CN called and emailed Hager several times since early July, with Hager finally answering August 11, 2016.
Hager told HMG-CN, “Here’s what I know. My credit card has been hacked 3 times in the last 4 years. The Legislative work hours are 35 hours per week. All employees are entitled to a lunch hour and breaks.”
Hager did not answer the questions as to why it was the same credit card number or why all the charges matched his home address.
Once again, Hager’s name was not the only prominent political name found in the Ashley Madison database used during regular business hours.
HMG-CN will reveal the other names of elected officials and people running for office in the next few days.
Copyright-Hews Media Group, Los Cerritos Community Newspaper, All rights reserved. Reproduction by permission and attribution only.
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