MADISON, Wis. (AP) – Milwaukee County officials properly forced a former airport deputy director out of his job because he was viewing pornography and using his work computer to set up dates, a state appeals court ruled Tuesday.
The case began in 2007 when police arrested Kenneth Kraemer, then deputy director at General Mitchell International Airport, on allegations that he sexually and physically abused a minor and had child pornography on his computer.
Kraemer was suspended from work during the investigation. No charges were ever filed against him, but county officials still had a private digital forensics company look at his computer. The search revealed that Kraemer viewed pornographic images at work and used his private email on his work computer to set up sexual encounters.
Kraemer’s boss told him to resign or he would be fired. Kraemer chose to resign but filed a complaint with the state Department of Workforce Development’s Equal Rights Division, alleging that the county discriminated against him based on his arrest record.
The 1st District Court of Appeals ruled Tuesday that materials on Kraemer’s computer clearly violated the county’s technologies policy, which prohibits an employee from viewing sexually explicit images on a county computer or for using it for any personal purpose that could embarrass the county. County officials would have fired Kraemer whenever they discovered what was on his machine, regardless of his arrest, the court said.
Kraemer’s attorney, listed in online court records as Christopher Kloth, didn’t immediately return email or telephone messages.