More EPA employees caught viewing porn on the job: OIG

More EPA employees caught viewing porn on the job: OIG

By Michael Bastasch

At least three Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) employees were caught viewing pornography on the job, according to a report by agency investigators.

EPA’s Office of Inspector General (OIG) also reported a former agency employee, Floyd O’Hara, was sentenced to 38 months and three years of supervised release for obstructing a child pornography investigation. O’Hara pleaded guilty to obstructing the investigation in 2018.

“In 2016, O’Hara was indicted for possession of child pornography, conversion of government property and obstructing justice,” reads the OIG report released Wednesday.

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“The investigation determined that O’Hara had downloaded unauthorized software onto his EPA-issued laptop and deleted files relevant to the investigation,” OIG reported.

The report also outlined three cases in which EPA employees, including one contractor, were caught with pornography at work. Only the contractor was fired while one agency employee resigned and another challenged their suspension. OIG’s report details investigations closed between October 2018 and March 2019.

Here’s what EPA investigators reported:

  • CASE NUMBER: OI-BO-2015-ADM-0058 — An EPA GS-13 employee allegedly received, viewed and disseminated inappropriate materials, including adult pornography, to other EPA employees and individuals outside of the agency via an EPA email account. The investigation supported the allegations. EPA management suspended the employee for 14 days without pay, the employee challenged the suspension and the matter was settled through arbitration.
  • CASE NUMBERS: OI-DE-2018-ADM-0063 and OI-DE-2019-ADM-0016 — An EPA GS-12 employee allegedly conducted personal business during official work time. The employee also allegedly maintained pornographic images on an EPA computer. The investigations supported the allegations, and the employee resigned.
  • CASE NUMBER: OI-AR-2017-CFR-0001 — It was alleged that a contract employee accessed pornographic and other nonwork-related websites while working on an EPA contract. The allegation was supported. The contract employee was terminated, and the contracting company issued a credit to the EPA for the contractor’s misused time.

It’s not the first time EPA employees have been caught watching pornography at work.

House lawmakers criticized EPA in 2014 for not firing an employee who allegedly spent years watching several hours of pornography at work. That employee had 7,000 pornography files on his computer and was caught watching porn when investigators paid him a visit.

That same year, EPA investigators told Congress an IT specialist was caught with child pornography, and then tried to delete it. Thomas Manning was sentenced to 30 months in federal prison with five years of supervised release in 2015, officials said.

Another EPA employee was caught watching pornography on his computer by a child on “Bring Your Daughters To Work Day” at the agency, it was reported in 2016.

Finally, a 2017 report by NBC News 4 in Washington, D.C., cited one particularly notorious case of an EPA employee in the Office of Air and Radiation who, while earning a $120,000 salary, watched porn between two and six hours every day and masturbated at work.

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