Saturday, May 29, 2004

45 state computers used to view porn

The Associated Press

FRANKFORT - The use of Transportation Cabinet computers to view porn apparently was not as prevalent as previously alleged, according to a report released Friday by the cabinet's inspector general.

Forty-five state computers were used to access pornographic Web pages, the report found.

Last year, then-state Auditor Ed Hatchett issued an audit that said 212 computers were used to view pornographic images.

An investigation led to the firing of two cabinet employees, 21 resignations or retirements and 23 disciplinary actions, according to a cabinet news release. The disciplinary actions ranged from a reprimand to a 15-day suspension.

Eleven transportation cabinet computers were seized by the FBI for allegedly viewing child pornography. That FBI investigation is still outstanding, according to the report.

The report by Bobby Russell, the cabinet's inspector general, found "a significant number" of transportation employees were spending work time perusing the Internet for non-work related reasons.

Some were using state computers to play in Internet chat rooms, shopping or visiting matchmaking sites, according to the release.

The cabinet has since enacted policies and installed computer software aimed at preventing future abuses, Russell said in the release.

"Employees are on notice that future inappropriate use will not be tolerated," Russell said.

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