9 D.C. Govt Employees Fired for Surfing Porn Sites

Q Boyer
WASHINGTON — Nine D.C. government employees have been terminated for viewing adult websites on their work computers, while 32 other employees will receive letters of reprimand or suspensions, city officials announced Wednesday.

The employees, who have not been identified, were notified Wednesday of their terminations of their suspensions, but many of the workers are unionized, and have the right to appeal the city’s decision, according to city officials.

According to the city’s internal investigation, each of the nine terminated employees visited adult sites more than 19,000 times last year, while three among the nine had visited adult sites more than 39,000 times. The 32 employees that received reprimands or suspensions all visited adult sites more than 2,000 times in 2007.

“This is not just egregious behavior, it’s reprehensible,” Mayor Adrian Fenty said at a press conference called to announce the firings.

The city’s investigation began in late December, after Vivek Kundra, the city’s chief technology officer, received a tip from an employee of the Office of Property Management. Based on that tip, Kundra then conducted a review of the 10,000 city computers that had the WebSense monitoring software installed.

The investigation yielded no evidence of government employees looking at child pornography, according to city officials. The nine terminated employees all worked within four agencies; the attorney general’s office, child and family services, contracting and procurement and the property management department. The investigation also found that 14 other agencies had employees who had viewed adult sites more than 10 times per day.

Investigators confiscated the computers of the nine terminated employees and conducted forensic analysis to ensure that the employees slated for termination were in fact the ones who had viewed the adult sites. By tracking each employee’s IP address, officials said they were able to confirm with “100 percent certainty” that they had identified the correct employees, Kundra said.