OUT & ABOUT: Porn In The Office – When Smart Guys Do Dumb Things

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BY DENISE CLAY/ I’ve been following Pennsylvania politics for a long while, and I’ve seen all kinds of things.

I’ve seen school board members without high-school diplomas. I’ve seen political officials act like Mafiosi. I’ve seen cash-strapped municipalities spend money on things that benefitted no one but the special interest that demanded them.

And I won’t even get into some of the shenanigans I see here in Philadelphia.

But last Friday, a story in the Philadelphia Daily News reminded me, yet again, that you can never say, “Now I’ve seen everything” in a business like journalism.

Apparently, when Gov. Tom Corbett was Attorney General Tom Corbett, some of the folks in his office were using state computers for something other than sending email, researching cases, and checking crime statistics.

They were looking at porn.

ATTORNEY GENERAL Kathleen Kane

ATTORNEY GENERAL Kathleen Kane


When current Attorney General Kathleen Kane went looking through her department’s records to investigate the AG’s response, or perceived lack of response, in the Jerry Sandusky child abuse case, she came upon the vacation photos from the office’s trip to Freaky Town.

And what photos they were! You had a woman doing something with a bowling pin that God did not intend. You had illustrations of ways that women could please their male bosses that gave a new meaning to the phrase “performance evaluation”.

And what really put the cherry on the top of this Dumb As A Stump Sundae was the list of folks who were doing this stuff using the computers that you and I paid for with our taxes. It was kind of a Murderer’s Row of Bigwigs.

Among the biggest names were: State Police Commissioner Frank Noonan; Dept. of Environmental Protection Secretary Chris Abruzzo; Glenn Parno, the person who oversees oil and gas for DEP; Corbett’s former Secretary of Legislative Affairs Chris Carusone; and former Press Secretary (and current Corbett reelection campaign adviser) Kevin Harley.

Other folks who brought t-shirts home from the Freaky Town gift shop were Patrick Blessington, who now works for District Attorney Seth Williams; Randy Feathers, a Corbett appointee to the state’s Board of Probation & Parole; and Richard Sheetz, Jr., who works for the Lancaster District Attorney’s Office.

As I read this, I thought about (A) the perception this reinforces for some that Corbett’s Attorney General’s office had better things to do than give the Sandusky case a thorough investigation.

And (B) the fact these guys were far too smart to do something so stupid.

One of the things I’ve had drummed into my head on every job I’ve ever worked is that the computer, email, and cell phone you’re using isn’t really “yours”. It belongs to the company, which means that they can listen to your phone messages, read emails from your company email account, and otherwise violate the heck out of your privacy.

That goes triple for equipment paid for by the taxpayer. Not only is whatever you do on any of those things the property of your bosses, it’s a public record.

Or did we learn nothing from the saga of Kwame Kilpatrick?

Gov. Corbett claims that he knew nothing about this, and wants to see Funky Town vacation photos for himself.

My guess is we’ll all get a chance….

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