Wednesday, June 18, 2008
Courtesy of Drew Curtis' Fark.com and the Boston Herald.com (and here, too) comes the story of Michael Fiola, an investigator for the Massachussetts Department of Industrial Accidents. Fiola was fired for having child pornography on his work computer, and the state filed criminal charges against him.
Fiola’s troubles began in November 2006 when, seven years into a job probing workers’ compensation fraud, DIA gave him a replacement laptop for one that was stolen.
Months later, DIA information technology officials noted that the data usage on Fiola’s Verizon wireless bill was 4 times greater than his colleagues’. After discovering the child porn, Commissioner Paul Buckley fired him on March 14, 2007.
DIA turned the matter over to state police who, after confirming “an overwhelming amount of images of prepubescent children engaged in pornographic poses” were stored on the laptop, persuaded Boston Municipal Court to issue a criminal complaint against Fiola in August 2007.
It turns out, as his defense investigator discovered, and prosecution experts confirmed, the "the laptop was running corrupted virus-protection software, and Fiola was hit by spammers and crackers bombarding its memory with images of incest and pre-teen porn not visible to the naked eye." So, the state employer was responsible for the situation, since it was the one that installed the corrupted software in the first place. Charges were dropped, and Fiola's case was expunged, but there has been no suggestion that the state will provide some remedy for his termination. A DIA spokesperson said only, "We stand by our decision."