Man Cleared Of Child Porn Charges, DIA Stands By Decision To Fire Him
A Department of Industrial Accidents investigator was recently told to clean out his desk when he was found to have a significant amount of smut and child porn on his state-owned laptop.
Michael Fiola claimed he had no idea the porn was there and his own wife described him as “computer illiterate”, but he faced two-and-a-half years in prison after being charged with possession of child pornography. However, experts have now discovered that he was unknowingly spammed and so, the charges have been dropped. The kicker? The department haven’t given him his job back.
According to the Boston Herald, computer forensic analyst, Tami Loehrs spent four weeks studying Michael Fiola’s computer and concluded that the notebook was infected with corrupted virus-protection software and as a result of this, the employee was hit by spammers and crackers bombarding its memory with images of child pornography not visible to the naked eye and described the case to the Herald as “the most horrific I’ve ever seen”
She went on to say that when the department issued Fiola his laptop, it was so badly configured that it could have already been compromised. According to Loehrs, the Microsoft Systems Management Server software on the laptop was misconfigured and not receiving critical software updates, and the Symantec antivirus software was either misconfigured or not operating correctly.
Michael Fiola was issued the laptop in November of 2006 after the one he had been using prior to that date had been stolen. Loehrs says he was handed a ticking time bomb.
A few months later, the DIA noticed that the data usage on Fiola’s wireless bill was 4 times greater than his colleagues’ and soon discovered why. Commissioner Paul Buckley fired Fiola in March of 2007.
According to the Herald, a DIA spokeswoman by the name of Linnea Walsh confirmed Fiola “was terminated,” but declined to say if anybody in the department had been disciplined following Fiola’s clearance in court.
“We stand by our decision”
Fiola and his wife plan to sue the DIA for “destroying our lives”. He said he hopes to save his reputation but “our friends all ran”.