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Audit reveals personal use of city computer; administrator resigns

"I made a mistake,'' Joseph Carlini says. As he leaves, he notes his years of good service to Largo.

By Lorri Helfand, Times Staff Writer
Published March 5, 2008


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A city administrator has resigned after Largo officials discovered he looked at non-work-related Web sites on his city laptop.

Assistant director of environmental services Joseph Carlini resigned Friday.

"The notebook's use was primarily for personal use during business hours, nights and weekends," according to a disciplinary report signed by Carlini's boss, director of environmental services Irvin Kety.

A routine audit of Carlini's laptop from Nov. 11 to Jan. 23 found the personal use. City policies prohibit excessive personal use of city computers and limit use of city-issued laptops to official business.

"I made a mistake," said Carlini, 49. "I felt like (the laptop) was mine. It wasn't mine."

Web sites frequently visited by Carlini, who worked for the city since 1992, included singlesnet.com, myspace.com, nfl.com and louisvuitton.com.

Carlini, who is married, said he let a friend play around with the dating site.

"The city's been good to me, and I've done some good things for the city," said Carlini, whose annual salary was $91,062. "I put in 16 years with the city, and I've done some very good things for them, and I'll leave with a lot of people that love me."

City Manager Mac Craig praised Carlini.

"Joe has done a fantastic job for the city," Craig said. "He was my right-hand man during the time I was in environmental services."

Carlini also served as environmental services director and manager of the city's wastewater division and reclamation facility.

Each city laptop receives updates and audits at least twice a year, and each month, the e-mail and Internet use of 12 to 15 random staffers is reviewed, said information technology director Harold Schomaker.

The audits rarely find misuse of city-issued computers because employees are told of city policies at two different orientations, Schomaker said. Computers for occasional personal use are available in break rooms.

Human Resources Director Susan Sinz said she recalled just one other employee who left in similar circumstances. That was in 2003, when an employee used a city computer to access a gambling site.

[Last modified March 4, 2008, 21:08:07]


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