Officials cite privacy rights in suit; documents show Billings workers accessed porn at work

Gazette lawsuit seeks names of city employees who viewed inappropriate websites on the job

(83) Comments

  1. ruby
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    ruby - November 05, 2012 7:58 am
    Lol! A tad extreme aren't you!?!? Who says they have a "porn addiction"? Un-healthy work environment? lol Clearly you know NOTHING about a true porn addiction. Seriously, you really need to get back down to earth on this. I has no baring on your daily life and you aren't affected by this situation one way or the other.

    Legally, their names don't have to be released so this argument is a moot point. Opinion or not.

    So you want fair? They aren't being protected because they work for the city! They are publicly scrutinized because they work for the city. Had these people worked for a bank or another private sector, this wouldn't be in the open. They aren't elected officials, they are private citizens and deserve to remain that way. This is why the city doesn't have to release names.

    I personally find it appalling that you are so desperate to know who they are and don't care about spouses and children being drug thru the mud. As a wife and mother I would never want to be in that position and I certainly don't wish it on anyone else. Do you not have a conscience? What if one of those people were your child? What if your child was the spouse? What if you were the spouse? You want to go for a muddy ride because people like you feel justified in prying in private lives?
  2. a mom forever
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    a mom forever - November 04, 2012 10:32 pm
    Ruby, my POSITION is that the lawyers can figure out the legalities, but I AM tired of one class of citizens being protected from humiliation and embarrassment just because they work for the City, County or State. It is my OPINION that men who are so addicted to pornography that they cannot control the impulse to not view it at work, do run the risk of their addiction pouring over to an un- healthy office relationship with women. As I said before, spouses, kids and families are dragged through the mud on a daily basis. Do I like it? No. I know the Gazette has the RIGHT to report on these stories, but I also believe that they should be FAIR and ACROSS THE BOARD on their reporting. Are City employee's wives and kids more DESERVED OF PROTECTION than any one else in this town? I don't believe so. If it isn't legal, they won't release the names, but if it is, their spouses, kids and family will have to deal with it like every other family who's loved one's make the front page.
  3. ruby
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    ruby - November 04, 2012 7:46 pm
    Psstttt just wonderin~ I can read and know it was a more than one time offense. I don't lack the intelligence you so desperately want me to. ;-)
  4. Laughter
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    Laughter - November 04, 2012 7:45 pm
    "You seem to be more concerned about these employees than they where for themselves and their families." So what you're saying is if a member of your family did some egregiously stupid thing that you would take being drug thru the mud with them like a good little soldier and not feel any resentment that you and your kids now face ridicule and scorn because of something you had absolutely NOTHING to do with...I don't buy it from any of you who can't wait to find out.
  5. ruby
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    ruby - November 04, 2012 7:43 pm
    By the way, the fact a person looks at porn (male or female) doesn't warrant a sexual harassment charge. More is needed than someone looking at pornographic materials.

    No contradiction from me, I believe what they did was wrong. I just believe that the general public needs to get off the witch hunt and has no business knowing the names of the people involved. Note that I have not mentioned "men or women". That is because we don't know and it is not appropriate to assume.

    Again, legally they have the right to have their names protected.

  6. ruby
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    ruby - November 04, 2012 7:37 pm
    Lol! You both crack me up! This is not a matter of opinion! It is a matter of rights. We don't have the right to know who they are. They have a right to have their identities protected.

    Every employee handbook says the same thing. Yes, they were wrong. I am not disputing that in the least. They were reprimanded based on policy and what their supervisor felt appropriate. The Gazette got all the info on the story and probably more than was needed or required.

    I am a mother. I have two beautiful daughters and a handsome little boy. The fact that grown adults were looking at porn doesn't bother or worry me in the least. They weren't looking at child pornography which is illegal and would bother me. Also, being a mother, I want to protect my children as I am sure any decent parent would. That said, neither of you are thinking about the innocent victims in this. How would you feel if you were the child or spouse of one of these adults? Would you want your family in the paper in this light? Would you want your child teased based on what their parent did?

    Neither one of you has bothered to give a valid reason why you NEED to know their names. I see a lot of wants but no reasonable need.
  7. just wonderin'
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    just wonderin' - November 04, 2012 6:30 pm
    And Ruby, I get pleasure from knowing that it really bothers you that I want to know their names. I hope you get more bothered by it.
  8. just wonderin'
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    just wonderin' - November 04, 2012 6:05 pm
    Ruby, yes I ? you intelligence because first you believe your opinion on this is more valid than the rest of us. Second you are completely wrong on the break issue. The breaks are paid time and the use of city property is against policy. I know this because a friend of mine who works for the city showed me his copy of the policy manual that all employyes are required to read and sign. Again this lawsuit is in place because the city broke the law and they will lose this wait and see. You have also posted has many or more comments than I have so maybe you need to bring more into your life also. You should also reread the article because it states this was not a one time thing and it involved more than one employee just finding something to do for 15 min. Good job Gazette!
  9. a mom forever
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    a mom forever - November 04, 2012 5:24 pm
    We may have to pay men who are THINKING about women that are naked, but we DEFINATELY should not have to pay men that use their WORK computers to LOOK at women that are naked! That is the big difference. I won't say IF, but WHEN the next SEXUAL HARASSMENT LAWSUIT is reported on here, I don't want to see any comment from you about having to spend taxdollars on another lawsuit.
  10. a mom forever
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    a mom forever - November 04, 2012 5:08 pm
    " Pathetic that you all care so much about this petty story." So why are you getting so worked up about this story that has no merit? I am a mom, and if it were one of my daughters working there, I would be even MORE upset than I am. I saw your comment about the woman you didn't think was "self-respecting" to be associated with the two guys involved with the Holiday murder. But then you turn around and try to protect the "Good Ole Boy" system that belittles women... Do you realize that you are sending the message to every young woman that reads this, that this is the way it's always been, this is the way it is, and this is the way it always will be... And you are okay with that? Again, your comments are contradicting.
  11. ruby
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    ruby - November 04, 2012 3:46 pm
    A mom forever~ I have to laugh at your correlation of men "thinking about naked women all day" and women working with them. You are crazy if you think they are the only men to think about women being naked. It doesn't mean they objectify the women they work with as sex objects. Walk down the street and try to figure out what man or woman has a sexual thought running thru their mind. Try to figure out who you know that might look at porn or who has. Want to bet your father or husband had?
  12. ruby
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    ruby - November 04, 2012 3:29 pm
    A mom forever~ you are worried about who being degraded? What purpose will it serve for you to know who is viewing porn? The petty part here is the LAWSUIT! Not the story. It will not better any of you to know who these people were. It will cause more harm to their families and subject them all to public humiliation!! For someone who claims to be a "mom" you completely lack compassion.

    Guess all that matters is that you all get to poke fun at who did it for a while. Get your kicks at another's expense. I just don't know what posses you all to have this sense of self entitlement. There are greater consequences to be had by these names being made public. Think about that!
  13. ruby
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    ruby - November 04, 2012 3:22 pm
    Oh and yes you are wrong on the Supreme Court thought. Please take the time to read the article again and take note that they are two separate cases!!!
  14. ruby
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    ruby - November 04, 2012 3:19 pm
    Just wonderin'~ I have no problem revealing my name. I have done it several times before. Matter of fact, I clearly stated who I was during a very public issue that consumed the newspaper, TV and radio.

    As for my intelligence level, it clearly supersedes what you think yours is. The city is not breaking any laws by not releasing the names. I don't know any of the employees. I just don't see what purpose it serves to release their names. What will it actually do for you to know? What will you gain from it? Is the fact you think you are deserving in knowing the names more important in protecting the innocent related to this? I am very familiar with a large public issue that happened a few years back that HUMILIATED the children of the individuals. The difference in that case vs this one is the party chose to go public.

    As for your broke theory on "stealing" time, they are entitled two 15min breaks plus a 30 min lunch daily. Who is to say that these acts didn't occur on what could be considered a break?

    As for your tax dollars, a few people looking at a few Internet sites are the LEAST of your worries on where that money goes. You might want to be concerned with the Gazettes frivolous lawsuit that is causing the city to waste your tax dollars. The city is within the limits of the laws and rights to privacy.

    I honestly think you need more in your life. Perhaps then you wouldn't be so worried about these names. It is not like they were top officials that were elected. You might have merit there but, they aren't.
  15. just wonderin'
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    just wonderin' - November 04, 2012 11:35 am
    Ruby, isn't the city actually breaking the law by not releasing info? They keep losing this lawsuit which does cost taxpayer money, yet you don't mention that. The supreme court and judges continue to rule against the city. I am I wrong?
  16. just wonderin'
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    just wonderin' - November 04, 2012 11:32 am
    Not to bright are you Ruby, first of all you and I and everyone else on here use screen names, right. Second of all getting paid for something your not supposed to be doing is stealing time. Why are you so sensitive about releasing these names? So your opinion is more important than mine? I agrre 100% percent with what the Gazette is trying to do here because it is our right to know whats being done with our tax money which I pay on time every year and pay whether I agree with it or not. Maybe you can be the bigger person and put your real name on here. Walk the walk instead of hiding behind a screen name.
  17. a mom forever
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    a mom forever - November 04, 2012 11:29 am
    The Gazette's doing their job, which in your opinion is "wasting time and TAX DOLLARS", and the FACT that City employee's are wasting time and TAX DOLLARS looking at PORN, contadicts itself. I have known good workers that have been FIRED from their jobs for being a MINUTE late. Everyone did it, it wasn't illegal, "They just happened to get caught." Maybe that's one of the reasons for me caring so much about this petty story... Knowing there are women who have to work with these men who are apparantly thinking of naked women all day, to me, that's "Disgusting really!!" If you think you are the only one in this town that has the widsdom to decide which of the stories the Gazette prints that "actually holds merit", maybe you should submit your application and see if there is an opening to CENSOR every article that is written about. Until then, I think it is the reader's decision which stories we feel hold merit and which are petty.
  18. ruby
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    ruby - November 04, 2012 9:37 am
    Just wonderin'~ do you not speak the same "English" language as the rest of us? You keep saying they were stealing and now you say it isn't a crime. In my language stealing is defined as a crime!

    It is NOT the general publics business who the people are. You all just want them publicly humiliated. Witch hunt anyone? We all know what happened and that is good enough. You just don't think about anyone but yourselves. These people might have families. Children who could be picked on because of people like you.

    You want them ousted for their misgiving, why don't you use your real name on the gazette's comments? You post some real "classy" things from time to time. My thought as to why you don't use your real name is so you can say what you want while staying anonymous behind your computer screen. Guess only you get the right to stay private where they don't get to.
  19. just wonderin'
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    just wonderin' - November 04, 2012 7:49 am
    Ruby, another person who is missing the point. Nobody on here said it was a crime, but it is stealing and wasting time when they are being paid and not only that, it wasn't a one time thing. This has been going on for some time. And yes it is the Gazette's job to report this and any other matters of govt. It' called govt waste. If you have read the Gaz. front to back they cover all kinds of topics. Please define for all of us what govt. waste is acceptable.
  20. ruby
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    ruby - November 04, 2012 4:30 am
    I can't believe you people!!! They didn't "steal time", this isn't a "crime", and you all just want to know for your own personal gain!!! Disgusting really!! This is a frivolous law suit wasting time and TAX DOLLARS!! Honestly, there are bigger issues for the gazette to pursue in court. How about a follow up to the "flash bomb" story? That is one that actually holds merit. Did the police have the right house?

    Pathetic that you all care so much about this petty story. They aren't the first to look at porn while at work. They just happened to get caught. It wasn't illegal, no child porn or anything to the degree. Ya'll are just damn nosey with nothing better to do with your time.
  21. a mom forever
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    a mom forever - November 03, 2012 12:41 pm
    Unfortunately, a private "come to Jesus" talking to these employee's would only lead to more lawsuits and settlements paid for by the public they have been "working" for at their desk. I admire you for your compassion, but after viewing your comment record, I fail to see any consistency in it. I don't know how "stupid" your ex-employees mistakes have been, but firing them did eventually damage their future livelihood and their families for at least a time. There are a lot of people out there looking for a second chance, I hope you advertise your business as one that hires someone that has made a stupid mistake. I am sure they would appreciate it. You must also think of the female employees that work with these men. I am not a man with "large nads" by the way, but I would wonder how one's spouse would feel knowing his wife has to interact with these men and THEIR "large nads"! I foresee more lawsuits. A psychological evaluation would have been a more fitting punishment, I think.
  22. driver
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    driver - November 03, 2012 10:43 am
    Wonderin', I have tolerated a lot of stupid mistakes my employees have done over the years. Usually it has been a private "come to Jesus" talking to, 2nd time it's down the road. In any case I do respect the individual and wish them success in the future. I would never try to damage anyone's future livelyhood or thier families because of a stupid mistake.
  23. a mom forever
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    a mom forever - November 02, 2012 6:12 pm
    The lawyers will figure out the legalities. This paper is full of names on a daily basis that are "being publicly humiliated" and "become targets of ridicule and scorn". Most probably have spouses, kids and extended family also. I am saying that it's time that the double-standard stops. I applaud the Gazette for trying to do their job of fair reporting. In fact, it would worry me if they didn't!
  24. just wonderin'
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    just wonderin' - November 02, 2012 12:54 pm
    To you driver, I am in my mid fifties and have been working since 7th grade, but my question to you then has being self employed would you tolerate this behavior from an employee of yours? No! So being on the clock 24/7 you understand time is money. Same applies to govt. workers.
  25. driver
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    driver - November 02, 2012 8:25 am
    Sure thing wonderin', I've had a job since I was 12 years old, I'm now self employed and work 24/7. How about you?
  26. just wonderin'
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    just wonderin' - November 02, 2012 7:39 am
    Laughter, you are in the minority here. Most people want these people named because in the long run it helps keep the govt. and its employees open and honest (if thats possible). It's another way of letting people know that tax money is being spent properly. If you don't like what you read in the Gazette don't read it. You seem to be more concerned about these employees than they where for themselves and their families. They used very poor judgement. If this were me it would make my spouse wonder why I need to watch porn so bad that I would risk my job for it. Gazette, please keep the city admin. open and honest.
  27. Laughter
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    Laughter - November 01, 2012 11:43 pm
    You would probably call me a "fundimentalist" church member Abraham and let me assure you I have not looked for any witches, an ATHEIST :) or even an ignorant ol' man named Abraham to burn at the stake lately. I also believe that the people demanding the names be released are doing it for nothing more than finding out if they knew one of them that did it...and make themselves feel superior. There is no other reason and for the sake of their innocent families I am totally against the release of the names.
  28. Laughter
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    Laughter - November 01, 2012 11:36 pm
    The only reason you people want to know the names is for no other reason than to find out if you know any of them that were disciplined. There is NOT one good reason, not a one no matter how much you harp on the "public" employee excuse, that any of us needs to know the names...it will do nothing for you at all except give you a momentary giggle or feeling of superiority but other than that it is absolutely unnecessary info. The BG wants it to sell papers to people who enjoy the dirt and public humiliation of others.
  29. Laughter
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    Laughter - November 01, 2012 11:27 pm
    "Being a city, county or state employee should not entitle you to be cushioned from embarassment..." Soooo what you're telling us is if it was your spouse who acted stupidly you don't believe he should be "cushioned from embarrassment" even though it would probably mean you and your kids/extended family being publicly humiliated and most probably become targets of ridicule and scorn, and we all know just how kind and understanding other kids would be of your kids don't we...but what the heck, adversity would just make those ol' kids stronger! Good for you "a mom forever"...you have larger nads than most spouses, especially with kids, than anybody I know.
  30. a mom forever
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    a mom forever - November 01, 2012 10:23 pm
    Being a city, county or state employee should not entitle you to be cushioned from embarassment when you are caught doing something wrong. The "Good Ole Boys" days should be over and done with, they've gone on far too long around here.
  31. just wonderin'
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    just wonderin' - November 01, 2012 7:19 pm
    oh, to you driver yes everyone does stupid things once in a while but alot of honest people go out and do their jobs and follow policy and live clean. Maybe hard to understand for you and lefty and old abraham. do any of you people even have a job?
  32. just wonderin'
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    just wonderin' - November 01, 2012 7:09 pm
    hey lefty, it's called stealing time. They were on city time getting paid by us taxpayers for violating city policy and abusing city property. It's stealing. have a clue.
  33. No Law And Order
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    No Law And Order - November 01, 2012 5:06 pm
    This issue isn't about what private people do on private time or in private employment. Public employment comes with public scrutiny. Public employees work at the will of the people. Public employment is very different from private employment. If public employees don't want to face public scrutiny, they should seek work in the private sector. These public employees enjoy work benefits no longer available in the private sector. Let's hold them accountable for a change, and advertise for new leadership.

  34. driver
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    driver - November 01, 2012 9:04 am
    Everyone does stupid things that never become public information. I'm sure that everyone commenting here has done something stupid that would embarrass the heck out of you and your families if it were published in the paper. They have been punished, let them go back to work.
  35. lefty the cowboy
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    lefty the cowboy - November 01, 2012 8:51 am
    ...except they aren't accused of stealing anything. Apples and hand grenades.
  36. Pipeguy
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    Pipeguy - November 01, 2012 7:04 am
    Once again the City wants to hide information from the public at the expense of the public. I'm sick of the city administration engaging in cloak and daggar tactics financed by my tax dollarsj. Honesty and transparancy is expected of City managment. The Mayor and council should be ashamed. And another loser lawsuit for the City.
  37. Abraham
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    Abraham - November 01, 2012 6:29 am
    Me a city employee, get real. But, while you are finger pointing, I am now convinced you are a fundimentalist church member and if given the chance would still be seeking withches to burn at the stake.
  38. Atheist Educator
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    Atheist Educator - November 01, 2012 6:28 am
    I noticed that the Gazette did not redact the actual site names in the included document. I'll bet a few of the self-righteous here tried them out, just to verify the integrity of the story of course.

  39. fidlr
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    fidlr - November 01, 2012 1:52 am
    And then comes unremarkable taking her usual potshots at Billings and labor unions from her perfect home in Sioux Falls, SD, Pink Slime capital of the U.S. They are even suing ABC news on that issue. Who is casting the first stone here and why?
  40. Sasse
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    Sasse - November 01, 2012 1:10 am
    that would be fundamentalist.
  41. Sasse
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    Sasse - November 01, 2012 1:09 am
    The Gazette doesn't need to help these pervs to look stupid. They're managing that all by themselves.
  42. Sasse
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    Sasse - November 01, 2012 1:07 am
    So they would be embarrassed and humiliated if their names were made public? And the problem with that is...? For what they did, that's the way they SHOULD feel.
  43. 2 More Cents
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    2 More Cents - October 31, 2012 8:44 pm
    No shame on the Gazette ... but rather, a big Thank You !!
  44. 2 More Cents
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    2 More Cents - October 31, 2012 8:39 pm
    "In one of several court documents filed last week, the city says the workers "have been severely disciplined for their conduct, and public disclosure of their identities would serve no purpose, other than to embarrass and humiliate them."

    Can't help but think of the numerous lives damaged by full-disclosure of those trapped in a sting operation by the City for prostitution. The City doesn't seem to have any problem making that information available to the public regardless of any embarrassment or humiliation to those people.
  45. just wonderin'
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    just wonderin' - October 31, 2012 8:18 pm
    Let me get this straight, the city and some of you people posting on here claim that the gazette is trying to ruin the life's of these people. They violated city policy (a document that they must sign) while on the clock using city property and it sounds like way more than once. So if the person who empties parking meters pockets a few bucks a week and gets caught shouldn't be named or fired because it might ruin his life? Get real! I am now convinced Abraham is one of these city employees or the spouse of one. I think Stanton and Volek should resign, you two are incompetent.
  46. What The Hay
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    What The Hay - October 31, 2012 7:54 pm
    Disclose their names, you would any other low life. Why are they County Commissioners?
  47. greganwortman
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    greganwortman - October 31, 2012 4:29 pm
    Blgs City Hall has the Pervs Mayor Tom Hanel and Police Chief Rich St. John We'll remember them as dirty old men No Naturade

  48. TheLiberalLion
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    TheLiberalLion - October 31, 2012 4:23 pm
    The Gazette only seeks to make people look stupid. This is what you get when you have a big fish newspaper in a small media pond. They have to fill in the page gaps with something!
  49. grin0048
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    grin0048 - October 31, 2012 4:14 pm
    The response from the city makes a pretty compelling case that disclosure is not required by law in this case. Granted, not all compelling cases turn out to be correct, but you certainly haven't presented any sort of counter-argument here.
  50. grin0048
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    grin0048 - October 31, 2012 4:06 pm
    What's funny is if you'd bother to read the emails, you'd know that one of the employees in question has had to have the IT staff remove viruses on two occasions.
  51. grin0048
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    grin0048 - October 31, 2012 4:03 pm
    read the included documents, they do use filtering--shockingly, it's quite difficult to block every inappropriate website on the internet.
  52. grin0048
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    grin0048 - October 31, 2012 3:59 pm
    Not that I agree with the Gazette on this, but do you honestly not grasp the difference between a public and a private employee?
  53. yankeefan
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    yankeefan - October 31, 2012 12:58 pm
    The city ALWAYS loses these cases. They may not like the open records law, but it IS the law. I you don't like it, don't work for a government entity. If you are paid with tax money, know that you have to toe the line. How STUPID do you have to be to view porn on a city computer? Fire them and fill those jobs with people who know right from wrong.
  54. Jus Wundrin
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    Jus Wundrin - October 31, 2012 12:30 pm
    I dont want to know their names. Just a little pink slip on their desk tomorrow stating that their services are no longer required. No divorce, no suicide, no broken families.

    Just a quick Good bye.
  55. Jus Wundrin
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    Jus Wundrin - October 31, 2012 12:24 pm
    Agreed.
  56. Jus Wundrin
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    Jus Wundrin - October 31, 2012 12:22 pm
    That was a TV show, this is reality.

    Fire em.
  57. Jus Wundrin
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    Jus Wundrin - October 31, 2012 12:21 pm
    Are you a city employee..........................................bro?

    You dont have to shop at walmart........we have to, are forced to, pay city employee salaries, and pay for services we dont use. Try another analogy. Im sure like all good gubment employees, they had to sign a contract that stipulated that they should not abuse their computer PRIVILEGES, especially by accessing PORN sites.

    They violated their contract, and they violated the rights of Billings citizens if personal information was on their computers. You said it yourself: porn sites are a cause for PC infections.

    They should be fired.

    ID theft is a major problem that we should all care about, and we should hold those accountable who are supposed to protect our personal information. Get it?
  58. legup
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    legup - October 31, 2012 12:04 pm
    The law has to be followed. That's why it's the law. What happens when the Gazette publishes the employees' names happens. The best thing to do would be to come clean with their families and then they wouldn't have to be afraid.
  59. Abraham
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    Abraham - October 31, 2012 11:50 am
    It is none of your business, and if public employees work for you, why not go down and do a little supervision. Better yet go back to the fundimentalist church that spawned you.
  60. Abraham
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    Abraham - October 31, 2012 11:47 am
    So what are you going to do once the names are published, you going to pillory the employees and ridicule them in public, you going to force their termination, you going to cause (maybe in some cases) broken families, divorice and possibly sucicide. Over accessing a porn site at work. Big deal, go back to your church and rejoice, and have you looked into your preachers habits lately.
  61. Big Easty
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    Big Easty - October 31, 2012 11:27 am
    Wow! Most of you totally missed the point of this article. The employees did something wrong. The city disciplined them for it, affecting their wages. The point of the article is does the press have the "right" for the employees names? I don't think they do. We pay city administrators like Ms. Stanton to deal with our city employee's HR issues. It appears they have done that. We don't need to pay them to do investigative reporting for the Gazette. If the Gazette has a reporter who tracks a lead, gets reliable sources, they can print it, but don't expect our city employees to fax you every little detail about the wrong doings of someone who sits behind a desk all day that we have never heard of. They did wrong and the city punished them. That's it, move on. If you think there is more of a story there, go investigate. Talk to someone involved. Maybe an employee. But sue our city over it. Bad form...And employees, quit watching porn at work! Duh!
  62. JustFacts
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    JustFacts - October 31, 2012 11:18 am
    U Mad Bro?
    Fire these employees because they made a lapse in judgment that doesn't affect YOU in any way? Who cares who they're paid by? The vast majority of people working are paid by someone else whether it be a business owner, a major corporation or a government entity. If I shop at Walmart, don't I to some degree pay their employees' salaries by spending money there? Does that entitle me to info about anyone they hire? The point is, most of us receive a wage that is paid by someone other than ourselves and so government workers are no different than workers in the private sector.

    As for malware, etc. It has been shown time and time again that "porn" sites are NOT the leading cause of pc infections. Symantec did a report not long ago in fact that lists the top five. 1. Blogs and Web communications. 2.Hosting/Personal hosted sites. 3. Business/Economy. 4. Shopping. 5. Education and Reference.

    www.symantec.com/threatreport/topic.jsp?id=threatreport&aid=malicious_code_trends_report
  63. legup
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    legup - October 31, 2012 11:12 am
    This doesn't involve a values judgment about whether we are offended by porn. This doesn't involve a moral judgment about whether it is fair to the employees to be named. The answers to those questions do not matter. The only question is whether the law requires the City to disclose the names. The lawyers working for the City, including one employee who was suspended and happens to be a lawyer, and the lawyers hired by the City to defend the lawsuit all the know the answer to this question: "Yes, the names must be disclosed". Follow the law and stop wasting the public's money by hiring lawyers to defend illegal decisions made by the City's HR office and to defend dumb employees who can't wait to get home to get their jollies.
  64. Dave Bovee
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    Dave Bovee - October 31, 2012 11:07 am
    What this points out, to me, at least, is the question of whether these employees are mentally competent? Is the government employees stereotype correct, that they have absolutely no concerns about losing their jobs, no matter what they do? Are they that slack or that stupid, to not worry about having their porn surfing on government computers detected? From my bit of experience with Billings employees, the answer is yes, they don't think they will be caught; they don't think they can be fired. Good point about malware and viruses, too. Just because Billings government hired these people, we don't have to just trust them completely. This is just a few, but does the whole bunch look stupid now?
  65. driller
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    driller - October 31, 2012 10:52 am
    Didn't Karla Stanton, the City's Human Resource's Director, say to the Gazette in the last article that no city employees were looking at actual porn, and now she says that the sights were "very adult". Didn't Tina Volek, the City Adminstrator, tell the Gazette that no city had been disciplined for looking at porn. Why the cover up? Are Stanton and Volek going to suspended for lying?

    Public employees spending worktime on their public computers looking at adult porn sites are violating City policies pertaining to computer usage, they are not working when looking at porn, and they are stealing time from the City. Then the City hires expensive lawyers to protect the offending employees at taxpayer expense.
  66. snobord
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    snobord - October 31, 2012 10:50 am
    No it is not about selling papers. It is about full disclosure as to how our tax dollars are being spent and if our city government took the proper course of discipline with these employees. Maybe just maybe they should have been terminated instead of a weeks suspension. Furthermore local news reporting is what the Gazette is supposed to be providing for this community.
  67. willianhiggins
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    willianhiggins - October 31, 2012 10:42 am
    Your wrong gladys kravitz
  68. lefty the cowboy
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    lefty the cowboy - October 31, 2012 10:38 am
    Generally I am for full disclosure, but I'm not sure it is appropriate in this case. What purpose will it serve to humiliate these people publically? They lost 5 days pay and the respect of their fellow workers. If they were spending hours on line at this activity, or any activity unreated to their job, they should be fired for inadequate job performance, but if we are talking a few minutes here and there, on breaks or whatever, I would say the consequences they have already received are enough, and public humiliation unnecessary. Very stupid, though, I will give them that.
  69. bowhunters
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    bowhunters - October 31, 2012 10:31 am
    Sounds like they dont want the guilty supervisors to be embarrased...Cant blame union guys on this one!
  70. willianhiggins
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    willianhiggins - October 31, 2012 10:31 am
    Of course your too red to be fair and you wont post comments that do not speak highly of your paper. Fair and balanced you are not and your trying to destroy peoples lives to sell papers. You don't have this community's best interest at heart its your wallets like every other red voter.. Shame on you, What a closed little world you protect for yourself up here in nowhere land.
  71. willianhiggins
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    willianhiggins - October 31, 2012 10:13 am
    Shame on you Billings Gazette
  72. Jus Wundrin
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    Jus Wundrin - October 31, 2012 9:51 am
    These employees should be fired along with the IT and HR bureaucrat. To those posters that say its none of your business; I say it is.

    Number one: They work for, and are paid by US.

    Number 2: Those sites generally have viruses, malware, trojans, and other mischievous programs hidden within. The extra cost to have a computer disinfected is one thing, the cost of a potential hacker getting personal info about you and I, that could be stored on those computers, could be devastating. Either way, this is a security breach and a firing offense for federal employees. ID theft is a major problem everywhere.

    Contact your city councilperson and ask them to look into this.
  73. Abonides
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    Abonides - October 31, 2012 9:10 am
    I think they should have been canned. Public employees are earning a salary off the taxpayers. If they are looking at porn, they are not doing their job and should be fired.
  74. thevoiceofage
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    thevoiceofage - October 31, 2012 8:42 am
    The city doesn't use firewalls with web blocking capability? I'd say some of the fault lies with the city's IT people for allowing it.
  75. No Law And Order
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    No Law And Order - October 31, 2012 8:18 am
    When did public employees, AND, their public employers forget that public employment can lead to public scrutiny.

    "...public disclosure of their identities would serve no purpose, other than to embarrass and humiliate them."

    Deservedly so, let the disclosure begin.

    All public bodies should be subject to open disclosure at all times. If that were practiced, maybe we'd encourage a higher caliber of public employee.

    Fewer and fewer public employees recognize the nature of their employment.
  76. notfadeaway
    Report Abuse
    notfadeaway - October 31, 2012 8:16 am
    This is the same city that discloses the name, face and residence of every person who is even accused of drugs, sex, violent or property offenses whether guilty or not. Reputations get ruined daily by disclosure of accusations which do not get proven. How is it we still have employees who expect to get paid to watch porn, have the city pay for the access and have the city hire attorneys to protect their privacy? Just when did the City ever win one of these? Finally, just how embarrassing is it? I am not offended that someone was watching dirty movies. I would be just as offended if they we watching Seinfeld reruns. I am offended that I was paying for it.
  77. Banksy
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    Banksy - October 31, 2012 8:13 am
    It's easy to enjoy porn at work and not get your name in the paper. It's called a smart phone!
  78. remarkable
    Report Abuse
    remarkable - October 31, 2012 7:40 am
    Billings, you gotta be...nevermind. At any rate, it's why we love paying for bloated governments (not uncommon there) isn't it? The employee unions who're more interested in protecting themselves than the taxpayers who pay for them-
  79. Regular Guy
    Report Abuse
    Regular Guy - October 31, 2012 7:21 am
    Lots of people access porn on the internet. Stupid to do it at work.
  80. topit
    Report Abuse
    topit - October 31, 2012 6:57 am
    "A day's work for a day's "taxpayer's sponsored" wages." I say to taxpayer sponsored employees, if you want to view porn, facebook, and other unauthorized, non-worked related websites, do it on your own time at home.
  81. Abraham
    Report Abuse
    Abraham - October 31, 2012 6:33 am
    So, what business is it of the Gazette to have these names or not, I do not hear any hue and cry from the public, this should be a personnel matter like in any other company. How many employees at the Gazette access porn sites, we want to know, it is our right. How many of them access personal stuff like facebook, and ebay, etc.,
  82. Skeptic
    Report Abuse
    Skeptic - October 31, 2012 6:26 am
    If the employees were accessing porn on public time, they were essentially stealing their salaries and benefits "earned" from the public.

    There should have been an analysis of their work performance as well. If they were spending hours on such sites, they must have either been way behind in their work or didn't have enough to do.

    Any public employee should know that their work is open for inspection by supervisors, including computer use. What were these bozos thinking about?
  83. right angle
    Report Abuse
    right angle - October 31, 2012 6:22 am
    well what about the teacher at Billings West High School who likes to look at porn web sites while at school. He remains and his life is not ruined.

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