Sue Bee honey filtration

A bottle of Sue Bee Honey is shown in the Sioux Honey Association warehouse in Sioux City. A judge has granted the company an injunction against three workers requiring them to provide computer passwords and other vital information when they are terminated.

SIOUX CITY -- A judge has ordered that three former Sioux Honey Association workers must disclose all computer passwords and network credentials to sensitive information to the company.

The three also are prohibited from attempting to access Sioux Honey's computer network and programs and may not take any other actions detrimental to the company.

District Judge Julie Schumacher granted a temporary restraining order against Julie Chmelka, Mark Chmelka and Matthew Vanderpool after Sioux Honey filed a May 15 petition in which it said the company had decided to terminate the three, who had sole access to and control over company passwords, banking information and other critical information.

"The petition establishes that Sioux Honey Association Cooperative will sustain irreparable harm unless a restraining order is entered in this action," Schumacher wrote in her order, filed May 15 in Woodbury County District Court.

According to the petition:

-- Julie Chmelka provided critical accounting functions and had accounting software passwords not known to other company employees.

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-- Mark Chmelka was vice president of transportation and purchasing and possessed confidential information pertaining to those departments.

-- Vanderpool was head of Sioux Honey's IT department and, in many cases, was the only person with knowledge of the company's IT system, including critical passwords and other information critical to Sioux Honey's daily operations.

The petition said the three have the ability to remotely access Sioux Honey's computer network and are the only employees who can terminate their ability to operate remotely.

The three collectively are the only employees, the petition said, who possess critical system information such as administrator passwords, access to the domain name siouxbeehoney.com and other domain names, network device credentials including the firewalls at all of Sioux Honey's locations, passwords for their individual cell phones and laptops issued to them by the company, all banking information and passwords for electronic filing of all state reports including payroll, sales tax and unemployment.

Sioux Honey said in the petition that the three have acquired critical and sensitive information regarding the company's IT and accounting systems and are keeping it to themselves.

Court records did not list any attorneys representing the Chmelkas or Vanderpool.

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