SACRAMENTO (CBS13) — A longtime administrator in the Valley State Prison (VSP) used his state-issued computer during work hours to access thousands of YouTube videos unrelated to his work.
The information came out in the State Auditor Whistleblower report. It reviewed more than 800 cases, including 116 cases involving allegations of waste or improper payments from July 1, 2018-December 31, 2018.
Of those 116 cases, the agency conducted preliminary investigative work on 62 of them. Of those, investigators obtained sufficient evidence in 33 cases, allowing them to launch thorough investigations.
When state investigators reviewed the administrator’s internet usage for the 10-month time period available, they found he used his state-issued computer and spent “more than minimal or incidental time viewing YouTube content.” The administrator bypassed the CDCR’s network block of YouTube using his credentials because his duties sometimes required him to access certain sites. But data shows that from Sept. 2017 through June 2018 the administrator accessed at least 2,256 YouTube videos on his work computer.
It’s unclear exactly how much time the administrator spent viewing videos, but the initiation allegation claimed, “he watched YouTube videos ‘every day, all day long, five days per week.'” On one particular day, investigators found he accessed 55 videos that did not appear to be related to his duties. Most of the videos were about recreational vehicles, footage from crimes, and political or religious commentary.
The administrator retired before CDCR could take disciplinary action against him, though they do not believe his retirement was related to the investigation.
Since the audit, the CDCR has provided evidence that it recommended training to the supervisor in March of 2019 and the supervisor has implemented bi-weekly meetings with her staff to “reiterate expectations for daily operations and acceptable behavior and to discuss progress on departmental goals.”
The CDCR is also able to hold employees accountable with a report generated by their internet filtering program, revealing the institution’s top 25 data users.