Pa. Officials Resign Over Porn E-mails

HARRISBURG, Pa. – Yesterday Governor Tom Corbett accepted the resignation of Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection Secretary E. Christopher Abruzzo effective immediately. Abruzzo allegedly sent or received pornographic e-mails over state computers.

Corbett also accepted the resignation of DEP Deputy Chief Counsel Glenn Parno, effective immediately.

Abruzzo and Parno are allegedly among dozens of state officials who sent or received explicit messages.

Secretary Abruzzo made his decision based on the best interest of the important mission of the Department of Environmental Protection, according to Governor Corbett.

In response to Abruzzo’s resignation, Corbett said, “I thank Chris for his dedicated service to the people of Pennsylvania.”

“Our environment and natural resources are better protected today due to his leadership, as well as the hard work of the men and women of DEP.”

Dana Aunkst, Executive Deputy Secretary for Programs, has been designated as Acting Secretary. Aunkst is a 22-year veteran of the department and a resident of Cumberland County.

According to a published article in philly.com, the other officials who have been implicated by Attorney General Kane in the pornographic email scandal are:

– State Police Commissioner Frank Noonan
– Kevin Harley, previously Corbett’s top spokesman when Corbett was attorney general and after he became governor
– former ranking prosecutor Patrick Blessington, who now works with the Philadelphia District Attorney’s Office
– Chris Carusone, Corbett’s former liaison to the legislation
– Richard A. Sheetz, former executive deputy attorney general in the office’s Criminal Law division
– retired agent Randy Feathers, appointed by Corbett to the Pennsylvania Board of Probation and Parole

It is also alleged that a Pennsylvania State Supreme Court Judge used his personal email account to send explicit emails to Office of Attorney General employees on their government accounts, according to sources.

Governor Corbett issued the following statement yesterday regarding the pornographic emails:

“On Thursday, September 25, my administration requested a full and complete accounting of email transactions associated with the distribution and transmittal of inappropriate content using government resources and between individuals within and outside the Office of Attorney General between 2008 and 2012. This afternoon, information concerning Chris Abruzzo, Glenn Parno and Frank Noonan was received. Information concerning Randy Feathers was not provided and is expected to be provided in the coming days.

“Earlier today, I accepted the resignation of Chris Abruzzo. This evening, I accepted the resignation of DEP Deputy Chief Counsel Glenn Parno, effective immediately.

“Information received regarding State Police Commissioner Frank Noonan’s account indicates that he did not participate in opening, originating, forwarding or replying to any message. It is important that Commissioner Noonan remain focused on the critical public safety mission he is leading in the manhunt for Eric Frein and that there is no disruption in the work underway in this case.

“As I have said, I do not condone or tolerate comments or behavior degrading to individuals, written or otherwise. This type of activity does not belong in the workplace and I find it inexcusable.

“I call upon the Attorney General to release to the public, in a complete and unbiased manner, all of the information on all individuals associated with this issue. Such action is in the best interest of the public and will serve to regain trust in those who work in public service.”


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