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Adirondack Park Agency Officials Used State Computers for Porn
August 6, 2005

APA Executive Director Daniel Fitts was indefinitely suspended without pay after the Office of the State Inspector General examined seized computers and discovered that he and four other officials at the agency were using the state computers to share obscene photos of nude and partially nude women.

Daniel Fitts

1. Daniel Fitts, Executive Director of the Adirondack Park Agency
Everything changed for APA Executive Director Daniel Fitts on August 4, 2005, when the New York State Inspector General's office reported that it had found 86 "inappropriate images" of nude and partially nude women on the e-mail and hard drive his computer, which the investigative agency had seized when they pursued a sexual harassment complaint.
 
APA building sign at Raybrook, New York

2. State Office Headquarters in Ray Brook, Essex County
The official headquarters of the Adirondack Park Agency and the Department of Environmental Conservation are housed in isolated offices in the far northern reaches of the six million-acre jurisdiction of the APA, a governor-appointed regional zoning agency. The distant offices are insulated from public participation and scrutiny.
Photo Walter G.McNeill
 

Hallway in APA building

3. An Aisle leading to the Private Offices of Adirondack Park Agency Staff
Although the APA was legislatively mandated to reign over a balance of State-owned Forest Preserve and private land with towns and villages, industries, and human activities of every nature, the main aisle leading to the private offices of the APA staff is decorated exclusively with mounted artwork depicting nature. The offices of the agency afford privacy and comfort for the work of the preservation-oriented staff of 65 planners, biologists, administrators, lawyers, and other staff members.
Photo: Peter J. LaGrasse
 
Office in APA building

4. A Private Staff Office at the Adirondack Park Agency
On August 4, 2005, the New York State Office of the Inspector General reported that the APA Executive Director Daniel Fitts and four other top officials were using their state computers to share obscene photos of nude and partly nude women. Two days later, when the scandal began to blow up in the newspapers and on the airwaves, Ross Whaley, the Chairman of the APA Commission, indefinitely suspended Mr. Fitts without pay. His annual salary was $90,800.
Photo: Peter J. LaGrasse
Office in APA building

5. Computers Assume a New Controversial Role at the Adirondack Park Agency
Computers such as the one in this private staff office at the APA often have sophisticated enforcement capacity, because of the agency's early world leadership in the use of Geographic Information Systems (GIS) to monitor the vast area under its jurisdiction. Years before other planning and zoning agencies had the ability, the APA could, with the click of a mouse, overlay a remarkable range of land information, including tax assessment records, U.S. Geological Survey maps, the APA's own zoning classifications, the Department of Environmental Conservation's wetland maps, and all sorts of superimposed wildlife data. On August 4, 2005, these computers were noticed for a new controversial roll, when the State Inspector General reported that the top APA official and four others were using their computers to share porn.
Photo: Peter J. LaGrasse

"Letter to Gov. Pataki signed by 33 of 37 female APA employees stating that the APA is not a 'hostile or chilling environment for women'" (Adirondack Park Agency, September 12, 2005)

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