A Navy admiral aboard a San Diego ship to oversee major training exercises last year spent hours watching online pornography on his government computer, an investigation released this week found.
Rear Adm. Richard Williams, who was commander of Carrier Strike Group 15 at the time, admitted his conduct to investigators, saying: “I'm guilty; I didn't know it was this much,” according to a report made available following a request under the Freedom of Information Act by the San Diego Union-Tribune.
Williams was removed from his post Jan. 8. Usually that’s enough to end a high-level career, but the Navy also gave Williams a punitive letter of reprimand and found him guilty of violating orders and conduct unbecoming an officer and a gentleman.
The one-star admiral implied that he didn’t start out with the intention of looking at sexual images during two short stays off the coast for the Dawn Blitz 2015 exercise with Japan, and for a large-scale certification exercise.
Williams was on the amphibious assault ship Boxer for six days between Aug. 31 and Sept. 5 and watched four hours of porn during that time. Later, in December, he was on the ship for five days and indulged in five hours of porn.
He said he was drawn to the sites by pop-up advertisements.
"It started as pop-ups, but then I navigated," Williams told investigators, admitting to breaching the computer security rules he had signed at previous times.
Williams has served as a career ship officer since graduating from Rochester Institute of Technology in 1984 and earning his Navy commission.
His computer violations were discovered during a routine security scan of Boxer computers by Navy Information Operations Command in San Diego, the investigation said.
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Steele writes for the San Diego Union-Tribune.