In this tough economy, it’s hardly unusual for people to look for second jobs to make ends meet. Example: A teacher advertised online that she was looking for extra work because her bills were piling up. Unfortunately, her ad was on the “casual encounters” section of a popular Web site. And her school computer was involved.
Update: The Columbus Dispatch has now reported that teacher, Amber Carter has resigned from her teaching position and pled not guilty to a misdemeanor charge of prostitution. Prosecutors are still reviewing a charge of unauthorized use of a computer that the sheriff’s office filed against Carter. HR Blunders’ original post on this story continues below.
Now, fourth-grade teacher Amber Carter has been charged with prostitution. She’s admitted she posted an ad on Craigslist and used a school computer to send an undercover officer e-mails arranging a meeting, according to the Logan County sheriff’s office.
And until her case moves further along in the legal system, she is still collecting her teacher’s salary of $56,000, even though the Bellefontaine, OH, school district has placed her on administrative leave.
Detectives say it appears Carter used her school computer to meet men and women and charge them $50 or $100 for various sex acts.
The investigation started when the local sheriff’s office received an anonymous e-mail saying a local woman was advertising sex services online, according to The Columbus Dispatch.
An undercover officer posed as an interested customer and exchanged 24 e-mails with Carter.
In an e-mail sent on a Monday at 9:07 a.m., well after school had begun for the day, she offered sex and suggested a time.
The next day, Carter took a half-day of sick leave and left work early. She was arrested shortly after noon.
The Dispatch obtained a recording of Carter’s meeting with the undercover officer. She took $50 in exchange for sex. (Caution: The recording contains explicit content.)
Work computer seized
Besides the prostitution charge, which is a misdemeanor, Carter faces a fifth-degree felony count of unauthorized use of property. Detectives have seized her school computer.
She has a spotless 13-year record with Bellefontaine schools. The district superintendent is quoted as saying he’d like to fire her now “but constitutional rights and due process come into play so the lawyers are proceeding properly.”
School district lawyers have suggested to Carter that she resign, but she hasn’t.
Was this an isolated incident for Carter? Sgt. Ryan Furlong doesn’t think so. He suspects Carter has been doing this for a while because “she was calm, cool and collected in that hotel parking lot. Not nervous at all. This wasn’t her first time.”
Certainly, this is an extreme case of an employee in financial trouble looking for an extra source of employment. Does your company have a policy about second jobs? What would happen if one of your employees used a company computer for a side business — even one that’s not illegal? Let us know in the Comments Box below.