Wednesday, August 26, 2015

More Ashley Madison Fallout


There has been all kinds of fallout from the Ashley Madison data dump. People in counties like Saudi Arabia where certain types of hookups are criminalized have reason to worry. Two people in Canada have taken their own lives. Another "Family Values" conservative has been exposed as a big fat hypocrite. A lawsuit is seeking class action status.

And now it's hitting kind of close to home.
Jefff Ashton, who was elected state attorney for Orange and Osceola counties after the Casey Anthony trial, admitted Sunday that he signed up for the Ashley Madison online-dating website but said he never had an affair as a result. “While I indulged my curiosity about the site, it never went beyond that,” Ashton said at a news conference at an Orange County hotel, at which he apologized for his actions. “These were incredibly stupid choices.” But Ashton added, “no laws have been broken” in his use of the website, which has gained more attention in recent days after it was hacked and information about clients became public. Ashton said that while he did occasionally visit the site while in his office, he signed in through a public Wi-Fi network on his personal laptop and did not use government equipment to access the site. “As embarrassed as I am about what I did, I did not commit a crime,” Ashton said.
But the president of the Florida FOP is not buying it.
Dear Governor Scott: Recently hackers have posted lists of accounts of individuals who have used the extra-marital web site Ashley Madison. Much to the embarrassment of Orlando State Attorney Jeff Ashton, his name appears prominently on this web site and he has publicly admitted to using the web site out of "curiosity." These revelations have uncovered that State Attorney Ashton may have used his official office resources, equipment and time while conducting his visits to this web site. Public officials should be and are held to a higher moral and ethical standard. Frankly, we expect more from State Attorneys. The office should be beyond reproach to earn and deserve the public trust. As the President of the Fraternal Order of Police, Florida State Lodge, I join with the many members of the Fraternal Order of Police in the Orlando area who work every day with the State Attorney’s Office in Orlando to ask your office to refer this matter to the Florida Ethics Commission and the Florida Department of Law Enforcement for review and investigation to insure the integrity of Mr. Ashton’s office to restore the public’s confidence in the Office of the State Attorney. Sincerely, James W. Preston, President Florida State Lodge, Fraternal Order of Police
Look, I'm all for law enforcement being held to a higher standard but this is nonsense. What if Ashton did use state resources to access his cheating site? How much did that cost the taxpayers? Certainly not as much as the investigation would cost. That makes this a matter for his family to deal with and for the voters to consider next time he's up for reelection ~ nothing more.

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