Constitutional Law

Must SEC Disclose IDs & Discipline for Porn-Watching Lawyers?

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The Securities and Exchange Commission nixed a newspaper’s Freedom of Information Act request for the names of some 33 employees and contractors—many of them attorneys—determined by an Office of Inspector General report to have been watching porn on their government computers, on government time.

But now a Colorado lawyer has taken the issue to federal court in Denver. Kevin Evans of Steese Evans & Frankel filed suit last month seeking both the names and the discipline, if any, meted out by the SEC to the 33 porn-watchers, reports the Denver Post. At least one of those concerned filed a John Doe response under seal this week seeking to prevent disclosure of the personnel records.

“As a lawyer, quite frankly, I am disgusted by what happened here,” Evans tells the newspaper. “If I or any other lawyer in private practice had sat and done what these individuals did and billed a client for it … we would be disciplined and severe action would be taken against our license.”

The SEC asserts that producing the requested information would violate employee privacy and subject workers to potential harassment.

Earlier coverage: “SEC Lawyer Watched 8 Hours of Porn a Day Amid Financial Crisis”

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