Two of 17 employees were let go from the SFPUC after being investigated for emailing pornographic images and conducting gambling activities while on the job.

Two of 17 employees were let go from the SFPUC after being investigated for emailing pornographic images and conducting gambling activities while on the job.

Two San Francisco Public Utilities Commission workers fired over porn, online gambling

Two San Francisco Public Utilities Commission employees have been fired and more than a dozen more punished for emailing pornographic images and conducting gambling activities while on the job, the department announced.

In all, 17 employees, including supervisors, were investigated after a whistle-blower complaint about misuse of city resources in two divisions within the agency.

After a monthslong investigation, the 17 workers were punished in some form. Two workers were fired, several senior-level employees were reassigned to nonsupervisorial, lower-paying positions and others were suspended without pay for varying lengths of time, the SFPUC announced.

“We made this matter a priority and swiftly concluded the entire process,” agency General Manager Harlan Kelly said in a statement. “We believe that the outcomes were fair and warranted based on the facts uncovered during the investigation.”

The agency said the actions taken depended on each worker’s level of involvement in the incidents and job history. The incidents included distribution of pornographic images using city-owned computers and conducting office pool gambling activities while at work.

The City’s employee handbook states that misusing city computers and Internet access, among other items, for anything other than business purposes is not allowed. The definition of inappropriate use cites online gambling and viewing or distributing sexually explicit images.

Utilities commission spokesman Tyrone Jue said the agency sent a reminder about proper use of city resources when the investigation first surfaced, and that it will be doing further outreach about the rules.

“The people of San Francisco, including all The City’s employees who work hard and follow the rules every day, can be assured that The City holds employees for their actions,” said San Francisco Human Resources Department Director Micki Callahan.

The investigation into the allegations was done by the SFPUC, the City Attorney’s Office and the Human Resources Department.

mbillings@sfexaminer.com

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