Securities Lawyer's Frustration Over SEC Pornography Scandal Hits FOIA Brick Wall

Wednesday, March 09, 2011 22:16
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Securities Lawyer's Frustration Over SEC Pornography Scandal Hits FOIA Brick Wall

Tags: sec

After nearly a year of legal wrangling, a Denver security lawyer's crusade to uncover exactly what was going on in the SEC's infamous "office pornography" scandal has hit what looks like a wall.

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Kevin Evans initially sued under the Freedom of Information Act back in May for details on exactly which SEC employees have been disciplined over the years for inappropriate use of the commission's time and computing resources.

 

His motive: sheer frustration over the amount of time wasted while the industry, market, and economy were teetering on the edge of a cliff desperate for regulatory intervention.

 

Unfortunately for Evans, the federal government protects its employees' privacy and so the names of the staffers involved remain sealed. All he really seems to have gotten is a list from the SEC of the regional offices where they worked.

 

As Evans points out, an internal SEC report indicated that the staffers involved -- 33 of them between 2005 and 2010 -- were general highly paid, with some drawing a salary above $200,000 a year.

 

While it's unclear exactly what purpose public disclosure would serve, the timing here is definitely awkward.

 

With the SEC fighting for every dollar it can get, the obvious question is whether better management might not have the same effect as throwing more money and more computers at the problem.

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