Investigation Of Gettysburg National Military Park Superintendent Finds Cybertracks to Pornographic Images
A lengthy investigation into allegations that Gettsysburg National Military Park Superintendent John Latschar acted unethically in running the park found no wrongdoing, but it reportedly turned up thousands of instances in which the superintendent's computer was used to access pornographic images.
The report (attached below) by the Interior Department's Office of Inspector General detailed a litany of charges against Superintendent Latschar, ranging from misappropriating park dollars for a hot tub at his home to coercing employees to donate their accumulated leave time to his wife, a park employee. After interviewing more than 45 individuals and reviewing "thousands of pages of public and private documents" the investigators cleared the superintendent of any wrongdoing.
However, while the 24-page report mentioned searching the superintendent's office computer for emails tied to the allegation that he asked employees to donate their unused leave time to his wife, it was silent on the discovery of more than 3,400 Internet searches for sexually explicit content. The Washington Post, however, said that it had obtained an internal memo to then-acting Park Service Director Dan Wenk that mentioned the discovery.
In an article published Monday the newspaper reported that:
An internal Aug. 7 memo from an investigator to Daniel N. Wenk, the acting director of the National Park Service, details the discovery of the images on the computer hard drive that was seized by investigators. But the office of Mary L. Kendall, acting inspector general for the Department of the Interior, omitted details of the computer probe or any mention of the violation from a 24-page report that was released Sept. 17.
"Latschar's inappropriate use of his government computer violates DOI policy," states the memo obtained by The Washington Post. The investigator forwarded the report to Wenk for "whatever actions you deem appropriate."
Wenk, through a spokesman, called the matter a "personnel issue" and would not comment on whether disciplinary action was taken.
Latschar also declined interview requests. He remains in his $145,000-a-year job.
The memo said that Latschar signed a sworn statement acknowledging "that he had viewed inappropriate pictures on his government computer during work hours" and that "he was aware of his wrongdoing while he was doing it."
A call to the National Park Service's Washington headquarters for comment was not immediately returned.