South Bay : Firefighters Punished for Computer Porn

Four Manhattan Beach firefighters have been disciplined for downloading pornography on a fire station computer, city officials said.

The action culminated a five-month investigation, which was set off when a Fire Department captain noticed nude photos on a computer screen, officials said. The city manager, the fire chief and the firefighters association reviewed the case and agreed on the discipline, city officials said.

City Manager Geoff Dolan said the punishment was for "an improper use of city equipment and improper conduct of city employees." City officials said the four firefighters were suspended for a short period, but declined to comment on the length of the suspension or whether the firefighters' pay was docked. Officials also declined to release the firefighters' names.

Stephan Garcia, an attorney for the Manhattan Beach Firefighters Assn., expressed dismay Thursday at reports that the reason the firefighters were disciplined was because child pornography was found downloaded onto the computer.

"The most important thing to understand in the entire affair is there was no child pornography involved," Garcia said.

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