Newspaper Reports That Gettysburg National Military Park Superintendent Is Stepping Down

The York Daily Record reported Thursday that Gettysburg National Military Park Superintendent John Latschar is stepping down. NPS photo.

A newspaper reported Thursday that Gettysburg National Military Park Superintendent John Latschar is stepping down as the result of the discovery of pornography on his office computer. National Park Service officials had no comment, citing Privacy Act restrictions regarding personnel matters.

The York Daily Record reports that Mr. Latschar told them he will no longer be superintendent as of Monday, that he is being reassigned to a desk job with the Park Service.

In the story the superintendent acknowledged viewing sexually explicit images at work, but added that he didn't view them as "pornography," but rather akin to what might be found in Playboy magazine.

Mr. Latschar also said it was somewhat ironic that this matter only came to light because someone in the Interior Department violated the Privacy Act, which aims to protect the personal lives of government employees, by leaking the memo regarding the matter of pornography on his computer. He also told the newspaper that in a way he was relieved to be leaving his job.


"Strangely enough, right now, in addition to the sorrow for the grief I've caused friends and family, I'm feeling almost a sense of relief," Latschar said when contacted Wednesday night. "I've spent the last 21 years of my life in the public arena, where everything I say or do is considered fair game. I think it's going to be nice to go to a desk job as a staff person working for somebody else who has to make all the decisions."

Comments

"Latschar also said it was somewhat ironic that this matter only came to light because someone in the Interior Department violated the Privacy Act, which aims to protect the personal lives of government employees, by leaking the memo regarding the matter of pornography on his computer"

I think Mr. Latschar needs to be reminded that the computer in question was not HIS. It is located in his (former) workplace and it belongs to the Government. This could have been avoided had he not taken that part of his personal life to work with him. ~G

I hope the person who violated the Privacy Act will be shifted to a position where they no longer have the ability to do so again.

It would be interesting to know exactly what Mr. Latschar was looking at--pornography or Playboy. As a woman, I read all the women's fashion magazines and there are ADS in there that barely miss pornographic, not to mention the stories geared around graphic sex. We are such a hypocritical society. I had one boss who was the most blatant racist I've ever known and yet he was continually promoted. I had another boss in journalism who is panting to do a story on a couple of barristas who wear binkinis and who employed one man who would have been fired for sexual harassment had he worked for any other company. True, the supe should have kept his interests relegated to his home computer. But I personally doubt there is one human being out there who has not, at one point or another, used a work computer to look at something decidedly not work-related. Not one. Male or female.

The irony is, the government instituted blocking software in 2007 that prevents anyone from accessing thses kinds of sites on government networks. Any employee who feels the urge to look at something inappropriate would find it very difficult to do so now.

following on Rangertoo's comment:

The blocking software blocks quite a few 100% work related sites such as the R graphics gallery (how to make technical graphics like climate diagrams), and requests for exceptions to the blocking rules either get rejected by DOI, or are accepted and allow access to the site for a short period, until the outside vendor with the blocking contract updates their definitions.

Bother.