From Greenwire
Tuesday, September 16, 2014

http://www.eenews.net/

Robin Bravender, E&E reporter

Months after getting caught in the act of watching pornography at the office, a highly paid U.S. EPA employee has been banned from the building, but he’s still on the payroll.

The offending staffer’s habits came to light during a spectacle of a House hearing in May. Aghast lawmakers took turns jabbing EPA for failing to fire the staffer, who confessed to having watched pornography on his work computer for between two and six hours per day since 2010.

“How much pornography would it take for an EPA employee to lose their job?” asked incredulous Oversight and Government Reform Chairman Darrell Issa (R-Calif.).

“Fire him. Fire him,” demanded Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah).

The fact that EPA’s prolific porn watcher is still employed more than four months later has prompted even more outrage from Capitol Hill.

“If this is not a case for the EPA to take someone off the payroll, which the agency’s Inspector General uncovered months ago, then what is?” Issa said today in a statement. “It is simply unacceptable that this individual would continue to receive compensation courtesy of the American taxpayer. The EPA clearly needs to get its house in order, and it is astonishing that such egregious abuses remain unresolved.”

Rep. John Mica (R-Fla.) promised congressional action.

“Paying to keep a confirmed porn watcher at government expense demonstrates the need for dramatic reform and the need to suspend federal employee compensation after they have been caught in the act,” Mica said today in a statement. “It may be too late in this Congress to further pursue this reform but I will make every effort to see how we can address this matter.”

The staffer is on administrative leave but still receiving his salary, according to EPA spokeswoman Liz Purchia. “This employee continues to be investigated by the [Office of the Inspector General] and U.S. Attorney’s Office, and we are working with these offices to obtain information necessary to move forward with administrative action,” she said.

EPA would not offer more updates about the employee’s status, and Jeff Lagda, a spokesman for the EPA inspector general’s office, said he couldn’t share any more specifics while the investigation is ongoing. The employee’s name has been withheld by EPA and investigators.

Investigators confirmed the staffer’s porn viewing when an OIG special agent arrived at his workspace to conduct an interview. The agent “witnessed the employee actively viewing pornography on his government-issued computer,” Allan Williams, deputy assistant EPA inspector general, told lawmakers at the May hearing (Greenwire, May 7).

The employee confessed to spending hours each day watching porn at work, and the OIG found that he had downloaded and viewed more than 7,000 pornographic files while on the job, Williams said, noting then that the Justice Department had accepted the case for prosecution.

Issa shared some additional details about the staffer’s habits, including the fact that he had spent four consecutive hours on a site called “Sadism is Beautiful.” Committee staff also noted that the employee was a highly paid GS-14 staffer who had received performance awards during the time period he had been watching pornography at work.

Employees working in Washington, D.C., at the General Schedule 14 pay scale earn between $106,000 and $139,000 per year in fiscal 2014, according to the Office of Personnel Management.

‘It’s not easy to fire somebody’

When lawmakers grilled EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy on the porn watcher at a separate hearing in June, she said she shared their frustrations that problem employees couldn’t be fired more quickly. “Any way that we can make these processes move more quickly, I’m all for it,” she said (E&ENews PM, June 25).

“I actually have to work through the administrative process, as you know, and there is still an ongoing OIG criminal investigation, is my understanding,” she told lawmakers. “We have actually banned him from the building. He no longer has access to any EPA equipment” and was already on administrative leave at the time, she said.

The slow pace of dealing with the employee isn’t too far out of the ordinary, said Earl Devaney, the now-retired economic stimulus watchdog who spent decades in top government oversight posts.

If DOJ has accepted the case for prosecution, he said, “EPA is totally handcuffed” from taking administrative actions in the meantime, as prosecutors are likely involved in negotiations with the suspect to plead to a crime or are pursuing an indictment. “If they are going to prosecute, they don’t want that administrative action having been taken because let’s say they go to a jury and the jury hears that he’s already lost his job, they start feeling sorry for him,” Devaney added.

“The fact that they’ve accepted it as a crime suggests to me that it’s something more than just watching, let’s call it regular porn,” he said, suggesting that something more serious might be involved. Devaney noted that he wasn’t familiar with the specific circumstances of this case.

However, because the employee had confessed to watching an average of several hours of pornography at work per day, “that could be enough to say, ‘Let’s send a signal here, and on a technicality we’ll charge him with a crime.’ Theft of government services comes to mind, because he’s abusing taxpayers’ monies; obviously, they didn’t pay him to watch porn,” Devaney added.

Not many people get fired from EPA in any given year based on performance issues. In the agency of roughly 16,000 staffers, only five have been terminated due to discipline or performance issues so far in fiscal 2014, according to a database kept by OPM. Ten were fired for performance or discipline in fiscal 2013; 24 were terminated the previous year.

Those numbers appear “about normal if you go across government,” Devaney said. “There are so many hoops that you have to jump through, so many appeal rights that a suspect has that they can literally tie up a general counsel’s office for weeks and months.

“It’s not easy to fire somebody.”


“As sex and relationship therapists, we know that pornography use is a relationship issue.  Porn affects the user’s inner life (the relationship he has with himself), as well as the interactions he has with his partner and other family members.  Regular porn use often interferes with a person’s ability to maintain good self-esteem and experience manually fulfilling sexual intimacy with a partner.  Dealing with pornography is not solely about stopping a behavior or overcoming an addiction.  It also involves reclaiming a sense of personal integrity and manifesting attitudes and behaviors that promote healthy sexual intimacy.  Nothing we found in our research discussed pornography use and its repercussions with this type of emphasis.” – Wendy Maltz, LCSW, DST and Larry Maltz, LCSW in The Porn Trap

Sexual addiction is an intimacy disorder, not about sex but about an emotional issue.  Regular porn use lowers the ability to feel good about themselves and their intimate relationships, so they withdraw which increases the emotional disconnect.


Marc Osborn recorded footage using pinhole camera hidden inside alarm clock

Kathy Marks
Wednesday 14 August 2013
web-mar-osborn-getty

With two children and a job in a busy Sydney police station, Senior Constable Marc Osborn had plenty on his plate.

Yet he found time not only to date no fewer than 33 women, but also to make tapes of himself having sex with them, which he then showed off to colleagues.

It was the tapes that landed him in court this week, where he was convicted of three counts of “filming a private act for sexual  gratification”. Osborn, 42, who will be sentenced next month, claimed he filmed the encounters – with a pinhole camera hidden inside an alarm clock – only to prove to younger officers that “the old man’s still got it”.

Police investigators found details of 33 women on his mobile phone. Sydney’s Downing Street Local Court heard that he would meet four of them on any given day, sometimes travelling between Sydney and Newcastle, 75 miles to the north. He also sent group texts to some of them.

Osborn, who faces immediate dismissal from the New South Wales force, told the women – many of whom he met on internet dating sites – that they could trust him, because he was a police officer. One of them testified that she felt “very betrayed” and “completely bewildered”.

The court heard that on one occasion Osborn winked at the camera while having sex with one of his conquests.

At one of the stations where he worked – Gladesville, in north-west  Sydney – a frequent topic of conversation was: “Have you seen Osborn‘s latest video?” And eventually it was his colleagues who reported him to senior officers. The force now faces a possible damages claim from some of his victims.

One 31-year-old woman, identified only as “Miss BB”, said she had sex with Osborn in a fully marked Nissan patrol police vehicle, and that  he visited her so frequently that “even the neighbours were commenting… that it appeared I had personal security”.

She was shocked to discover he had filmed them together, telling  investigators that the only mementos Osborn was entitled to have of  her were topless photographs, which she had had taken “professionally”.

During his at times tearful testimony, Osborn – who wore a large pair of dark sunglasses while entering and leaving court – said he was the second oldest on his team. “I guess I was just trying to compete with my peers … trying to join in the conversation.”


article_3_main1) - Love doesn’t keep a score of wrongs. Love doesn’t bring up past failures. None of us is perfect. In marriage we do not always do the right thing. We have sometimes done and said hurtful things to our spouses. We cannot erase the past. We can only confess it and agree that it was wrong. We can ask for forgiveness and try to act differently in the future. Having confessed my failure and asked forgiveness, I can do nothing more to mitigate the hurt it may have caused my spouse. When I have been wronged by my spouse and she has painfully confessed it and requested forgiveness, I have the option of justice or forgiveness. If I choose justice and seek to pay her back or make her pay for her wrongdoing, I am making myself the judge and her the felon. Intimacy becomes impossible. If, however, I choose to forgive, intimacy can be restored. Forgiveness is the way of love.

2) – What is emotional intimacy? It is that deep sense of being connected to one another. It is feeling loved, respected and appreciated, while at the same time seeking to reciprocate. To feel loved is to have the sense that the other person genuinely cares about your well-being. Respect has to do with feeling that your potential spouse has positive regard for your personhood, intellect, abilities and personality. Appreciation is that inner sense that your partner values your contribution to the relationship. Two quotes by Dr. Gary Chapman author of “The Five Love Languages”

We are products of our past, but we don’t have to be prisoners of it. Rick Warren


“‘What are you doing to take care of yourself?’ is one of the most often asked questions in recovery.  Self neglect is one of the common causes of relapse, and it is true that children whose parents neglected them have difficulty taking good care of themselves.

“This part of your recovery plan looks at those areas of your life that have gone beyond neglect of yourself and become compulsive deprivation or even compulsive self-harm.  First you need to identify forms of compulsive deprivation or self-harm that existed in the relationship(s) that you worry about.” – Patrick J. Carnes, Ph.D. in The Betrayal Bond

Compulsive deprivation and self-harm comes in many forms.  Anorexia, sexual anorexia, compulsive saving or hoarding. compulsive cleaning, cutting or hurting self, hair pulling or skin picking, body piercing or excessive tattoos, compulsive exercising, compulsive debting or compulsive saving, compulsive working are all example of depriving and hurting oneself.


Judge hails work of Independent journalists as former Foreign Office contractor is sentenced after undercover investigation

Jonathan Brown , Charlotte Philby and Cahal Milmo
Friday 19 July 2013
10_sus

The role of investigative journalism was praised today as a top level computer consultant was jailed for 16 months in connection with a “pitiless deception” in which he sought to con hard up students into having sex with him in return for falsely offering to pay their university fees.

Mark Lancaster, 40, who was employed by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office at the time of his arrest last year, was exposed following an undercover investigation by The Independent into the website and fictitious business Sponsorascholar.co.uk.

The pornography-addicted father-of-two admitted a charge of voyeurism and another of trafficking after tricking an 18-year-old student into travelling to a rented flat in Milton Keynes, where he filmed her with four secret cameras dressing up as a schoolgirl and posing for photographs before having sex with her.

The woman, who cannot be named for legal reasons, was duped by the website which she found through a Google search when she was seeking legitimate forms of finance for her studies. It offered up to £15,000 in return for four meetings a year with fictitious “sponsors”.

Southwark Crown Court heard how the victim, who was originally from Kenya and came from a one parent family, was tempted as she faced fees for her university course of £11,000 and a further £5,000 for accommodation.

She was due to start her course in September 2012 and wanted to “reduce the burden on her mother” who was a “hard working nurse”, the prosecution said.

Although she was aware that the site was soliciting sex she was simply seeking to find out about it when she attended the meeting with Lancaster. She had hoped to control her involvement in the “scheme” but was overwhelmed by the IT expert’s personality and the momentum of the situation.

“She was in a strange apartment in a strange city, wearing strange clothes with no money, high heels on and simply felt she could not run away,” said Lisa Wilding for the prosecution.

“In her words she felt `really gross’ about it. She felt there was nothing she could do about the situation she found herself in,” she added.

Afterwards when she heard nothing the victim contacted Lancaster who told her she had been unsuccessful in her “application”. He refunded her a £60 postal order for her travel and invited her to apply again in the future.

As a result of her experience her life was torn apart. She was humiliated in front of her friends when they found out and forced to miss a year of her studies although she intends to resume a degree this year.

Mr Justice Testar said the scam had damaged her relationship with her mother and her peers. “She lost confidence in herself – most crucially – and lost confidence in other people. I have no doubt she has lost confidence in any man she meets,” he said.

Describing the scam as a “deliberate and elaborate lie,” the judge sentenced Lancaster to 16 months for voyeurism and the same for trafficking to run concurrently. He was also placed on the Sex Offenders Register for 10 years.

Ms Wilding said police were alerted to Lancaster following publication of details of the scam in The Independent when a reporter posed as a prospective student. She was told by Lancaster that he was the “assessor” for the fake scheme and that she would be required to have sex with him as a “practical” before she could receive any money.

“His activities came to the attention of journalists to whom thanks must be offered. For it was through investigative journalism that the defendant was revealed and as a direct result his activities and his website was brought to an end,” Ms Wilding said.

Detectives from Scotland Yard’s human trafficking unit believe as many as 40 women had contacted the site. Lancaster, from Horndean, Hampshire, lived an outwardly respectable existence with a lrage house and an apparently happy marriage. He had been employed by the Ministry of Defence and IBM during a high-flying career in which he had clearance to work on highly sensitive military data.

But he deployed his skills to set up the website in the name of a respected academic from the London School of Economics having randomly selected him because he was the same age and of similar appearance. When he was alerted to the fraud the lecturer believed he might have been being smeared as a result of his pro-Palestinian views.

But the website was a vehicle designed for Lancaster’s own personal sexual gratification. In mitigation counsel for Lancaster, Patrick Harte, said his client had been de-sensitised to the impact his crimes as a result of the habitual use of internet pornography for which he had now received treatment. “It was cheap sex he was looking for and that was what he got,” said Mr Harte.

Lancaster organised a number of “assessment sessions” across London and the South East. As well as setting up the original site, he also created two fake “review” sites praising S*************r.co.uk and urging others to take up the offer of money in return for sex.

After Lancaster was identified by The Independent he made a two and a half page statement to his employers, the FCO, in which he said: “Whilst the acts I have committed might not be considered moral or decent, I do not believe they constitute a criminal offence and I have not been contacted by police.” However, he used specialist software to erase the films he had made and smashed the hard drives.

Sarah Jennings, Crown Prosecution Service London reviewing lawyer, said: “Lancaster set up this elaborate scam with the sole purpose of sexually exploiting female students who found themselves in a vulnerable financial situation. This was a particularly nasty and degrading experience for the woman involved, which robbed her of valued privacy.”


There are times when I know Jeff is more prone to slip up on the road to recovery.  These include when he is tired, when he is stressed and when he is lonely.  I don’t travel much, but when I do it is a perfect storm for Jeff.  As the lone caretaker for our two active boys while I’m out of town – the stress and exhaustion come quickly.  The loneliness soon follows.  Here are some things I try to do to support Jeff when I have to be away from home.

  1. I take his struggle seriously. I ask him about his strategy. I encourage him and affirm him.
  2. I try to help him find some pockets of time to recharge. Maybe that means scheduling a babysitter one evening while I’m gone so he can go to his group.  Or arrange a play date so he can enjoy a few hours of quiet at the house.
  3. I spend time with him alone before and after the trip. No kids, no “to do” list. Whether it is a date night or just a quiet evening after putting the kids to bed, I let him know that I love him by speaking his love language.
  4. I leave notes of encouragement. This is something I use to do just for the boys, but Jeff loves it too.  I put them on the bathroom mirror, on the front door, in dresser drawers.  I want all my boys to be reminded that they are the world to me.
  5. I talk to him frequently while I’m out of town. I’m not a phone talker, but Jeff has shared with me that he really needs to talk to me while I’m gone.  So I give him my full attention, which means I turn off the tv and the computer and focus on him.  I also try to let him end the conversation, so he doesn’t feel as if I’m rushing him.
  6. I pray for him. I confess that I don’t do this nearly as much as I should.  But I ask the Lord to keep Jeff strong, to give the boys a smooth, easy week, and to protect Jeff’s eyes from temptation.  I never forget that this is a spiritual battle, which can only be fought by prayer.

Email:  marsha@puritycoaching.com 

She offers help to spouses of sexual strugglers through phone coaching and online spouses’ support groups.

Check out our site:  www.puritycoaching.com