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Morgan jailer loses job for viewing Internet porn

By Seth Burkett · 340-2355

A Morgan County Jail officer lost his job for viewing inappropriate content, including pornography, on a jail computer, Morgan County Sheriff Greg Bartlett said Monday.

Bartlett said he delayed the release of information regarding the Oct. 17 firing of Kory Kinte Renfroe, 30, while he carried out further checks on staff members’ computer usage.

“We checked all the other computers. This happened to be an isolated incident,” Bartlett said.

Firewall bypassed

He said Renfroe bypassed the system’s firewall to access Web sites that jailers would not normally have access to.

The material Renfroe viewed at a computer station inside one of the jail pods included pictures of nude women, Bartlett said.

He said he had a program installed on department computers about two years ago to monitor the activities of employees.

“It takes a screen shot, every minute, of what they are looking at,” he said.

Bartlett said he was able to match time stamps on screen shots with time stamps on security video showing Renfroe at the computer.

“The day I confronted him, I observed him on the monitor,” Bartlett said. “It was obvious that he was trying to hide his activities when people were coming and going.”

“This wasn’t an ‘Oops!’ type of thing,” Bartlett said. “He was purposely going around the system and violating the rules. He knew he wasn’t supposed to be doing this.”

Bartlett said that after installing the program, he sent a memo informing his employees that he had the capability to observe their Internet activities.

“It’s been a good tool. It’s kept everybody honest,” he said.

Bartlett said this is the first case he is aware of in which an employee of his viewed inappropriate material on the Internet.

Earlier this year, while county officials were arguing about improper use of county computers, Bartlett refused to turn over information from his department.

“This is why we didn’t give anything up. I knew we didn’t have anything,” Bartlett said.

He said technicians fixed the loophole that allowed Renfroe to visit prohibited sites.

Bartlett said he did not believe that loophole presented a security breach, as jailers “didn’t have access to any kind of confidential information, criminal investigation reports or anything else.”

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