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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.

By Eric Rich  |  October 24, 2009; 11:31 PM ET
Categories:  44 The Obama Presidency , Ethics , The Agencies  
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Comments

Cover-up for the upper management.

he should be fired and stripped of his retirement ( not all , just the last 5 or however many years he's been smutting around on the computer).

y

Posted by: tru-indy | October 25, 2009 2:07 PM | Report abuse

Such inappropriate use of the computer would likely have gotten a lower-level employee fired. I know of two instances where District government employees were fired for the same misconduct.

Posted by: esch | October 25, 2009 11:19 AM | Report abuse

I fail to see what this "article" has to do with the Obama presidency.

Posted by: dfeltus1 | October 25, 2009 10:49 AM | Report abuse

Mary Kendall said,

"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,"

Guess she was right since WaPo doesn't mention any of the 17 allegations.

Lame.

Posted by: JohnQuimby | October 25, 2009 1:13 AM
------
JohnQuimby, there's nothing "lame" here. The Washington Post has reported several times on this story and has covered the other allegations in the earlier articles. This article is about "news" meaning a new development in a long-running saga. Your complaint is like saying every single Watergate story should have recapped the entire scandal, or every Afghanistan war story should recap the history of Afghanistan including the last eight years. That's not how news works.

By the way, how do I know the Post has covered this particular story in the past, and how do I know what the more serious financial accusations were? I never heard of this story before today but when I looked at today's story I simply clicked on the links supplied in it to the earlier coverage. That's what those links are there for. My curiosity was satisfied by the earlier reporting at the click of a button, while those who've been following along got this short update without a lot of "filler" recapping old news.

Posted by: fairfaxvoter | October 25, 2009 9:10 AM | Report abuse

I found this report in nationnalparktraveler
and it's pretty interesting to read. I had no idea how much authority/decision making this educated man had. Me thinks perhaps he was in the job too long and just got bored...

I hope this link to the report works:

http://www.nationalparkstraveler.com/files/OIA-Latschar.pdf

Posted by: avahome | October 25, 2009 8:53 AM | Report abuse

Mary Kendall said,

"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,"

Guess she was right since WaPo doesn't mention any of the 17 allegations.

Lame.

Posted by: JohnQuimby | October 25, 2009 1:13 AM | Report abuse

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