City Hall computer use investigated

In 2006 police interview, city employee admitted to viewing pornography during work hours

NASHUA – According to a 2006 Nashua Police Department report, an investigation into unauthorized computer usage led to Assessing Office employee Greg Turgiss admitting he used the city’s internet service to view adult pornography during work hours.

With the March 1 release of the Management Audit of the Nashua Assessing Department revealing poor management structure, the city made several changes, including the elimination of the chief assessor’s position.

Turgiss, commercial assessor, was recently the subject of a private investigation funded by Berkeley Street resident

Laurie Ortolano, who hired William Freyler to track Turgiss during his work hours. The private investigator’s report alleges Turgiss has been taking naps while on duty.

Turgiss has been employed by the city since 2000. A 2006 incident report from Nashua PD shows that at the time, the city’s human resources manager suspected Turgiss of unauthorized computer usage.

The investigation cleared Turgiss and another employee of any illegal activity. However, during interviews with the officials, the report states Turgiss admitted to using the city computers to view “adult pornography and to chat online during work hours.”

Throughout the report, Turgiss is noted as cooperating with authorities, voluntarily taking part in interviews with detectives, as well as allowing law enforcement into his home.

At the time of the 2006 investigation, Bernie Streeter was Nashua mayor. While computers were regularly utilized within City Hall at the time, Streeter told The Telegraph he couldn’t recall any policy regarding the misuse of computers or internet services.

Streeter said that he was unaware of any computer misuse, and that during his tenure as mayor, he never heard of any problems in the Assessing Department.

“I don’t know anything about that,” Streeter said. “I didn’t have any problems with the assessing people. When I was around, they were doing good work.”

The mayor after Streeter, Donnalee Lozeau, said she too was unaware of the investigation against the two city employees for misuse of their computers. Lozeau said during her administration, the city had policies in place regarding computer usage.

“I would imagine those policies existed during my time and I know we reviewed them after I started,” Lozeau said.

When asked about the issue of Turgiss’ alleged behavior, Mayor Jim Donchess said city officials are seeking outside counsel to conduct an investigation.

“I am writing to inform you that the city is asking attorney Mark Broth of Drummond Woodsum, the city’s outside counsel to conduct an independent investigation regarding allegations concerning one of the city’s assessors and related matters,” Donchess said in an email sent to The Telegraph and the Board of Aldermen.

In documents provided by city Human Resources Director Larry Budreau, language was implemented on March 24, 2013 in the Information Technology Acceptable Use Policy in section 4.06 Specific Prohibitions and Limitations stating, “City Policy regarding acceptable behavior and communication will apply to use of the internet and messaging. Specifically prohibited use includes, “accessing inappropriate sites including adult content, online gambling services and dating services.”

An earlier policy from 2002 states, “Employees are encouraged to use professional judgment prior to using any requirement or systems for personal use, keeping in mind that all equipment is owned by the city… and may be discoverable in litigation.”