A bill to ban federal employees from watching porn at work (yes, seriously) is gaining traction on Capitol Hill – just as another government employee is accused of downloading lewd images onto his agency-issued computer.
A new report from the Department of Housing and Urban Development’s inspector general revealed that one of the agency’s high-level workers in Minneapolis was caught looking at pornographic images on his computer while on the clock.
The employee, who was in charge of ethics enforcement at the office, reportedly printed off naked photos of "white females" on the agency's computers.
He refused to cooperate with the IG's investigation and told auditors he had forgetten the password to his personal email address. That employee is still under investigation.
This is not the first time government employees have been taken to task for watching porn at work. Last year, a worker from the Environmental Protection Agency was caught watching two-to-six hours of porn each day for more than two years. Auditors said the employee had downloaded 7,000 pornographic files onto his government computer. As of last September, that employee -- a GS-14 staffer earning between $106,000 and $139,000 a year – was still receiving a paycheck.
In another instance, a Federal Communications Commission employee was caught watching up to eight hours of porn each week at work, The Washington Times reported. The excuse he gave, according to auditors, was that he often did “not have enough work to do and has free time.”
Last month, the House Oversight Committee on Government Reform passed the Eliminating Pornography from Agencies Act sponsored by Rep. Mark Meadows (R-NC). It officially bans federal employees from looking at porn while on the job.
“It’s common sense for the vast majority of Americans that you should not be watching pornography on the taxpayer dime,” Meadows said in a statement. That common sense doesn’t seem to apply, however, to the errant federal workers who breached the public’s trust, wasted valuable time and money, and essentially abused their employment positions.
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