The City of Hutto has requested an outside agency investigate former employees who allegedly took official information and illegally disclosed it.

In a city news release sent to KVUE News on Wednesday, acting City Attorney Michael Shaunessy confirmed the city “has made a criminal referral related to potential violations of Chapter 39 of the Texas Penal Code.” The referral specifically requests the investigation into violations of Section 39.06, which deals with misuse of official information.

“In particular, these employees appear to have taken information they had access to only because of their positions as employees of the City of Hutto and disclosed that information for some form of personal gain,” the release said.

Section 39.06(b) of the Texas Penal Code states:

A public servant commits an offense if with intent to obtain a benefit or with intent to harm or defraud another, he discloses or uses information for a nongovernmental purpose that:

(1) he has access to by means of his office or employment;  and

(2) has not been made public.

KVUE’s partners at the Austin American-Statesman report the punishment for misuse of official information can range from a Class C misdemeanor to a third-degree felony. A Class C misdemeanor is punishable by up to a year in jail while a third-degree felony is punishable by up to 10 years in prison.