9/19/2014

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Ethics Board: Kardashian web searches lead to state worker fines

Ethics Board: Kardashian web searches lead to state worker fines

SEATTLE -- Kim Kardashian, Eric Clapton and fantasy football are just a few of the websites and online searches taxpayers paid for because of two state workers at the University of Washington.

A two-year investigation by the state and the Ethics Board confirmed what the Problem Solvers were told by a whistleblower in 2012. The Board's findings revealed that UW fire alarm technicians Don Hulse and Stan Ross used their state-owned computers for hours, visiting hundreds of sites while on the job.

As part of their settlements with the state, Ross must pay around $3,800, while Hulse must pay around $7,600 in fines and restitution to the university.

The investigation found while the pair was surfing the web on the job the fire alarm department was still recording high amounts of overtime. Records obtained by the Problem Solvers show as much as $43,000 in overtime for Hulse and $34,000 dollars for Ross.

After the investigations, the department reigned in some overtime spending and cut down on waste.

The two workers are expected to keep their jobs, but the university has stepped up training courses and re-educated staff after the investigation.

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