Mayor Fines Self For Email Misuse

from the setting-an-example dept

A few months ago in New York City, there was some controversy over Mayor Bloomberg’s decision to have an employee fired for playing solitaire on a city computer, leading some to wonder if Bloomberg never once took care of personal business on city time. However, the mayor of Newark, Ohio, apparently did — but recognized the error of his own ways and fined himself $368 for sending personal emails from work. Of course, the problem here was most likely not the fact that the emails were personal, but the nature of the emails: asking people to get involved with his son’s business. In other words, rather than just freaking out about any personal business being done during work hours, the focus was (as it should be) on the nature of the personal use, and whether it interfered with legitimate work.

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Comments on “Mayor Fines Self For Email Misuse”

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Lisa says:

Why do people act like email is the first instance of taking care of private business on work time? Haven’t people been leaving work to run errands, having social lunches, and making personal calls from their desks for decades? Then suddenly when someone uses a new product (i.e. a computer) to commit a very old transgression, it’s a federal case.

Kevin says:

Re: Email

Lisa,, so well put. This is far from anything new. It’s just another way to look at how our society interacts. It is interesting to think that given current security risks, standards , most all people know they are being monitored in some way shape or form. Every email ends up somewhere other than it’s predetermined desitnation and saved until needed someday. Still people do this with a regularity that is mind boggling. Even when they sign a form stating that they are being monitored and can be terminated for any computer use considered or obviously not work specific related. It’s almost like a DNA of sorts. Great comment.

Adam says:

Now I'm confused...

This guys a politician, but seems to be honest. He fined himself for breaking the rules, and doesn’t seem to have an ulterior motive. I suppose he could be going for a Streisand Effect, where this news will increase interest in the e-mails that prompted the fine. Those e-mails were for his son’s business, so that seems a plausible theory. But now we have a politician using foresight and pseudo-viral marketing, so I’m confused again.

NullBull (profile) says:

Influence Peddling

I like how the issues of nepotism and influence peddling are glossed right over. Soliciting for your son’s business while acting as mayor is a lot more about “scratch my (son’s) back and I’ll scratch yours” than it is about whether or not he’s wasting the taxpayer dollars that pay his salary.

PS – How many are posting from work, right now? I’ll fess up.

sbbrian says:

I agree this is all BS. FIRE THE MAN NOW!

Who’s to say $386 is proper punishment!

Screw him I think he should be fined $386,000 for what he has done. Since when are we able to determine what our fine should be. I wonder what my local Police department would think if I showed up and said I was drinking and driving the other day, and I’m here to fine myself $5.00.

Leo says:

Mayor Fines Self for Email Misuse

if i were to catch myself using an email for personal use while at work, and then tell my boss that i was going to fine myself, he/she would take away that assumed ‘option’ by simply firing me instead. i would have no say-so in the matter whatsoever. am i the ONLY person to notice that the mayor has conveniently and automatically granted himself that ‘option’ without consulting anyone else about it? that is not fair. he is only fooling the fools. he certainly isn’t ‘honest John’. if he truly meant to be fair about it, he would have asked someone else, a ‘judge’ over him, to levy the fine and/or sentence instead!

Adam says:

Now I'm really confused...

Is the opinion really going that he should have just kept his mouth shut? People wonder why we have dishonest politicians, whenever we get one who does something honest, we rip him a new one for it.

@Anonymous Coward from Post #13:

Different mayor. Newark, Ohio != New York City. I know that Newark and New York kind of sound the same if you mumble, but they aren’t.


If you showed up at the Police Station to confess to drunken driving, they would be confused, because that would probably be the first time that had happened to them. You wouldn’t be arrested for saying it, and you probably wouldn’t be arrested even if you said it again after they had read you your rights. They’d call in the boss, who’d thank you for your honesty, and accept your $5 as a slap on the wrist. After all, how the hell are they going to prove this isn’t just some prank?


If you fessed up instead of being caught, you might very well keep your job. As long as you weren’t responsible for some debilitating virus or other horrible thing hitting the company, they’d probably keep you, and mark your record as having a near-obsessively guilty conscience. Then they’d keep you on, because it’s so hard to find employees that trustworthy.

sbbrian says:


Yes, I’m saying he should have kept his mouth shut!

Dishonest politicians/people will always exist he can’t change that. Just because he confessed to asking people to get involved with his son’s business/misuse of Email and taxpayer money does not mean that I trust him any more that the other person that was just playing Solitaire! It is weather the punishment fit the crime for both situations. I’m sure if the other person that was playing solitaire had the option to keep his job and pay a fine he would have just paid a fine. Unfortunately there is no such Legal option in my State and any other State in this country for anyone of us to choose our own punishment we see fit so why should he have this luxury.

The people of Newark Ohio should see that he no longer Stands in office another day!

Bryan Price (user link) says:

Funny and interesting

This is funny to me, as a former resident of Newark, Ohio.

It also hits home a bit, as I remember as a public employee and as the administrator of a 3Com 3+Share network, I had to monitor somebody’s e-mail account for awhile. While it’s been quite a number of years (over 10 now), nothing went on much at all. They were expecting harrasment of an employee, and got gossip, nothing more, nothing less.

The biggest blowup I had to handle was the fact that certain people were sending unrelated e-mails to everybody on the network, when it really needed to only go to just a few. Nothing like getting asked if anybody wanted a kitten — from across the state.

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