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Nov-17-2008 19:45printcomments

Multnomah Sheriff Bans Internet for Employees

Some employees will still be able to use the Internet.

(PORTLAND, Ore.) - There's a new sheriff in town, and he is putting the kibosh on Internet usage for employees of the busy Multnomah County Sheriff's Office. The move will limit employees on keeping up on things like the day's news, but the Sheriff believes banning the Internet will be more in the public's better interest.

Following a 5 month consideration of the issue of internet use by MCSO employees, Sheriff Bob Skipper announced a change in the authorization required for employees to access the internet.

He says the policy 'upgrade' was driven by a 2007 investigation of three MCSO employees who had logged onto inappropriate internet sites during duty hours. Sheriff Skipper, who took office on July 17th, replacing long time Sheriff Bernie Giusto, was apprised of the on-going investigations and ordered an internal audit to evaluate internet use.

He announced today that effective December 1st 2008, employees will have to be authorized by Command in order to access the internet, and the authorization will be granted only if there are specific work related duties. Skipper says those reasons include investigations, research and criminal intelligence, performed by employees that require access to the internet.

Sheriff Skipper stated, following the conclusion of the audit, "I no longer believe that [unrestricted] access and use of the internet is a wise use of public money or that it is in the public's interest."

The investigation into the three cases of inappropriate internet use have been completed and are currently in Command review. The Sheriff's Office did not elaborate on circumstances. Some corporate businesses have restricted Internet usage over employees visiting ebay.

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Rich November 20, 2008 12:20 pm (Pacific time)

Here's latest on "Joe the Plumber" This is a very serious breach of public trust: Inspector general says Joe the Plumber's files searched improperly Thursday, November 20, 2008 12:47 PM Updated: Thursday, November 20, 2008 03:06 PM By Randy Ludlow THE COLUMBUS DISPATCH A state agency director improperly authorized checks of state computer systems for confidential information on "Joe the Plumber," according to a report released this afternoon by Ohio's inspector general. Helen Jones-Kelley, the suspended director of the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services, "had no legitimate agency function or purpose to support her decision" to check on the newly minted political figure, the report states. The investigation by the office of Inspector General Thomas P. Charles found that the reasons Jones-Kelley offered for the checks "were not credible" and failed to "promote trust and confidence" about her decision. During the course of this investigation, we also received information that Director Jones-Kelley may have used state resources to engage in political activity. Jones-Kelley had asked Charles Huston, ODJFS’ network service technician, to synchronize her personal Blackberry with the ODJFS email system. As a result, all emails sent from her Blackberry went through the ODJFS email system. Among the emails that went through the ODJFS system were four in which Jones- Kelley provided lists of names of potential contributors to the Obama campaign. One of those emails included Jones-Kelley’s offer of a $2,500 contribution to the campaign. On all four occasions the emails were either sent from, or received at, Jones-Kelley’s state email address. This use of the ODJFS system violates the Governor’s policy on political activity and constitutes an inappropriate use of state resources. Consequently, we also find reasonable cause to believe that Jones-Kelley committed a wrongful act in this instance.

Henry Ruark November 20, 2008 8:14 am (Pacific time)

P-S: You wrote:"...strong sanctions have a way of effecting behavior modification, for some." Your statement remains rather ambiguous since in its abbreviated form one cannot determine if you really meant "effect" or "affect" here. "Effect" refers to the outcome of behavior change, while "affect" refers to the process itself, with whatever is the subject as causation for that desired change. Obviously (at least to most English-speakers) there is a rather essential and momentous difference in meaning. Perhaps it may not be obvious to you, but then that's part of the symptoms we've been illuminating here. As with others from you here, the intended impact is clearly to cause confusion, damaged and delay shared cooperative consideration, and denigrate the opportunity for honest, open dialog. That should characterize your behavior, sir, at least as well as yours via that lame "Goose/Gander" reference. But "Goose" may be completely relevant here at that...

Henry Ruark November 19, 2008 8:00 pm (Pacific time)

To all: Please note Sanchez could not resist the opportunity to try to ride bareback on mine for his own distorting purposes here. IF he agreed with my summary of action needed, he could have so stated openly, honestly, and democratically, without trying to make of mine a vehicle for his own pander addition re a dead issue on Joe the Plumber. SO again we see how, why and to what affect some will turn the responsible opportunity to share-and-learn, sacrificing ethical approach to whatever it is that motivates such ongoing behavior clearly now shown by past years of brutal political conflict to damage and deny democracy itself.

Henry Ruark November 19, 2008 7:07 pm (Pacific time)

Sanchez: IF you agree with me, then you will also agree with Comment below, where you tried to apply the same distortion of reality: Sancez: Au contraire, friend S,AGAIN ! Joe chose to place himself as a licensed professional, in his first contact with O. That role as honest working man was what made him the symbol he became. Yours to disinvest him of his ONLY claim to fame shows your own intentional distortion of obvious fact. Joe told O of plan to purchase $250,000 business far beyond his honest possibilities, which surely reflects on his character. Do you really think he would ever have been noticed if he had admitted to status truth ? Your continued naivete also shows in repetitition re the "investigations" underway; happens allatime in political conflict, as you surely do know. Invasion of privacy pales considerably vs political;y motivated attack on Attorney Generals at national level. (That's "naivete" example.) Perhaps you spent too much learning time in armed force service ? That tends to rigidize approach to anything democratic, many will agree. What counts is grand jury indictments; see today's news for Texas' start re Cheney, Gonzales, others, with some 15 counts vs them for conflict of interest and other serious criminal offenses. FYI, those in Texas only first in line by other jurisdictions too. Then, too, there is the huge and rapidly growing demand for full national-level action vs the perpetrators of the most evil attack in our history on the Constitution and the Bill of Rights, now firmly on the public record via evaluative statement from leading skilled historians. (Who are surely NOT naive and untrained !) ------ How really sad to find an educated American determined to distort/perturb realities, as in repeated comments denying Obama mandate and in shadowed and dishonest image of poor old Joe...who is real victim of McC. brutal use, for which McC. apologized on a national tv-news interview. That latter fact should surely confirm our judgment here of S.'s continuing attempt to portray Joe as hero rescued by what will be abortive court action, as S. well knows. SO, folks, there's your "masked man", betrayed by his own words and continuing use of distortion/perversion for political-pander purposes.

Percy Sanchez November 19, 2008 9:35 am (Pacific time)

I am in 100% agreement with Henry Ruark that government employees should be fired when they use offical government equipment (computers or otherwise) for non-offical matters. For example let's look at the gross invasian of privacy of a citizen of Ohio by government officals, aka Joe the Plumber, who by the way several personnel happened to be active members of Obama election organizations, a non-governmental function. What say you Henry about that needed termination? Goose/Gander? The bigger picture here folks is that all employees who use taxpayer owned equipment for private matters should be terminated, and if they are in an upper management position, incarceration should be considered, for strong sanctions have a way of effecting behavior modification, for some.

Henry Ruark November 18, 2008 3:31 pm (Pacific time)

To all: Now it develops that one worker in M.County Sheriff's group used computer 1,700 times for porn. Others also involved on units obviously vulnerable to abuse. This is in prison environment where inmate safety depends on integrity of those in charge, as well as their own safety. Here's "see with own eyes" excerpt from K-8 website: "The links to the porn sites were discovered on a computer hard drive that showed three jail deputies had each used it separately. "The investigation found that four jail deputies and a jail counselor each used a work computer to access pornographic sites. One of the deputies accessed porn more than 1,700 times over a span of eight months, according to the sheriff’s office. "The employees involved will be sanctioned, but not fired, authorities said." ------------------- So slap-on-wrist allows easy escape from intentional and concentrated abuse of work relationship. If mine previous seemed tough, what do you think now ? IF abuse-admitted there surely is full reason for firing; if denied, but proven, probation and suspension from work and pay should be supported by both administration and any union. To do otherwise breaks full professional responsibilities by both workers involved and their supervisors,in basic management-principle pattern. "A little there,a little here" and soon the flood submerges societal power and basic control conferred by full professional responsibilities by most in most situations. DO believe this spotlights the serious devolution we allow to gain momentum when essential public agency is allowed so to deteriorate.

Henry Ruark November 18, 2008 8:56 am (Pacific time)

To all: Public employees found to be abusing Internet access for personal purposes should be fired immediately. It is easy to see what they were seeking, and they are free to do so on their own time. IF they cannot be trusted to put their time on work duties as assigned, they deserve to be separated. Supervisors, especially in agencies bound by appointment oaths for employees on first entrance into service, should not be forced to spend time checking on who is seeking perverse pleasures via access to Internet. That's waste of costly human resources better applied as law and legislative funding intends, a basic management responsibility. Rapid forced departure of several should make the message so plainly, painfully apparent to all that supervision via surveillance, or by clumsy and awkward process for prior approval of access, should no longer be a necessity. It works, as prior experience demonstrates. Bounce the betraying bums right out the door, publicly, right on their own bums.

mira November 17, 2008 8:46 pm (Pacific time)

Great idea, the officers are there to protect and serve the Community. Serve the Internet on your time off. A lot of Counties/Businesses should do that.

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