SEC workers in Chicago disciplined for porn at work

March 9, 2011 7:47:32 AM PST
The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission has now disciplined 33 employees for accessing pornography while on the job, using government computers.

In this Intelligence Report: Many of them were lawyers and senior officials, and some were in Chicago.

Some of the employees spent every working hour looking at internet pornography then attributed their behavior to an addiction.

This conduct went on for at least five years in some cases and involved numerous high-ranking employees of the federal agency that regulates the securities industry in at least seven SEC offices including Chicago.

In the three years since the American financial system nearly crashed, some top staffers of the federal agency in charge of market recovery spent their days doing something else on their computers-- including a senior attorney who spent eight hours a day in his office accessing so much pornography he ran out of hard drive storage and had to transfer photos and video to CDs and DVDs.

According to results of an internal pornography investigation, 33 employees at SEC offices, including Chicago, have now been disciplined or are receiving counseling, including an SEC accountant who searched for pornography via his government computer 16,000 times in a month, bypassing an internal government filter. He received a 14-day suspension.

All of the SEC workers cited for government ethics violations were paid at least $99,000 a year. Seventeen of them were considered senior-level employees earning annual salaries of as much as $222,000.