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Computer Audit Criticizes Former Employees’ Use

Written by Will Brumleve

WATSEKA — Ex-employees of the now-dissolved Ford-Iroquois Public Health Department spent an estimated 2,700 hours per year using their work computers for personal business, amounting to more than $81,000 per year in wasted taxpayer money, a forensic computer expert told the Iroquois County Board.

Andrew Garrett of Decatur-based Garrett Discovery said the estimated number of hours spent by employees on personal business — including searching dating and classified ad sites, posting to their personal Facebook pages and selling merchandise for their personal businesses — was based on a conservative estimate of 30 seconds spent on each website.

The $81,000 figure, meanwhile, was based on “a modest” $30 an hour paid to the average employee, including salary and all benefits, Garrett said.

The report presented to the board also showed that some employees used anti-forensic software in a possible attempt to delete their web histories.

At the request of former Iroquois County Board Chairman Rod Copas, the board approved last December spending up to $5,650 to have Garrett examine 18 computers used by ex-employees of the health department, which was dissolved in July 2014. Those 18 were in addition to five that were already examined, free of charge to the county, for evidence of misuse and fraud.

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