Improper computer use by park official not germane to probe, Interior IG says
By Kimberly Kindy
A public report from a year-long investigation of the superintendent of Gettyburg National Military Park omitted that he viewed sexually-explicit images on his government computer because the information would have delayed the report's release and eclipsed its other findings, the Interior Department's inspector general said.
National Park Service employee John A. Latschar was reassigned to an unspecified desk job Friday, days after The Washington Post reported on an Aug. 7 memo about the images on his computer hard drive. Investigators came across the images while looking into 17 complaints accusing Latschar of misconduct and criminal activity.
The investigation found no criminal violations, according to the Sept. 17 public report. Although that report did not mention inappropriate computer use, the internal memo from August shows that Latschar signed a sworn statement acknowledging the misconduct.
In a statement provided to The Post Saturday, Mary L. Kendall, acting inspector general for Interior, wrote that Latschar's computer use was neither "timely nor germane to the allegations under investigation." The computer activity dated from 2004 to 2006.
"The findings were provided to the Department for whatever action was deemed appropriate... Furthermore, as recent press coverage of these findings has borne out, they would also have likely eclipsed the substantive findings into the 17 allegations that the OIG originally set out to investigate thoroughly and report on objectively," she wrote.
October 24, 2009; 11:31 PM ET
Categories: 44 The Obama Presidency , Ethics , The Agencies
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