Auditors: State employee posted nearly 5,000 comments on Sacramento Bee site

An auditors’ report released today says a California Department of Education employee posted about 4,900 comments on sacbee.com between December 2010 and December 2011. The man posted 195 days of the 208 days he was at work, and averaged about 25 comments per day. (One day he found time to post 70 comments.)

From the report:

On his most active day, the employee steadily posted comments starting at 10 a.m. until the end of his workday at 4:30 p.m. The figure does not include the time the employee spent to read each of the articles and draft his comments for posting.

The man claimed he only visited Sacramento Bee’s comment section during breaks, but investigators had evidence that he posted when he was supposed to be working, too.

“Then the employee said his commenting activity fulfilled his job obligation to follow educational technology news,” reports the Bee. “Auditors knocked that down, too.”

Finally, the serial commenter said that for most of 2011 he had a lot of time on his hands because he didn’t have any work to do, despite asking for more.

Federal government changes had indeed lightened the employee’s workload, a supervisor confirmed, but management “had been able to find other projects to fill approximately 80 percent of the employee’s time.

“Informal action” was taken against the serial commenter, but he continued to post on the newspaper’s site. (The same man, they note, “also misused statetime and equipment during this period to perform work for his second job.)

Auditors suggested that the man be prohibited from visiting sacbee.com “for a specified period” and that his Internet use be monitored.

UPDATE: I asked the Bee about their “super commenter” and got this reply from managing editor Tom Negrete:

“The state report does not mention the person’s name or the handle he uses on sacbee.com, so we’re not sure of his identity though there are some folks here who monitor the comments that could make a good guess.

“As commenters go, he would not make our top 20 commenters, who each average 1,000 comments a month or more. We’ve spoken to most of those on the top 20 list, and they are mostly retired folks … so impressive to have a day job and still post about 600 comments a month.”

* State employee posts nearly 5,000 comments on sacbee.com (sacbee.com)

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