A KSAT 12 Defenders investigation found numerous incidents of employees on the public payroll misusing computers paid for by taxpayers and ratepayers.

The investigation covered a 22-month period and surveyed computer usage at CPS Energy, San Antonio Water System, the City of San Antonio, North East ISD, Northside ISD and San Antonio ISD.

CPS Energy spokeswoman Christine Patmon said the utility found 13 separate reports of computer misuse during that period. CPS Energy has been under fire this year for raising rates and for billing and meter reading problems. She said the misuse was minor.

"Thirteen out of 3,400 employees is .003 percent,” Patmon said. “I actually did the math on it."

The problems the utility discovered included an employee selling girl scout cookies from an office computer. Other employees were found to be downloading movies and comic books, looking at websites with scantily clad women and listening to music on Pandora.

"We need to make sure that the bandwidth of the servers are being used wisely," Patmon said.

At SAWS, employees were disciplined for sending questionable emails, including one with a picture of a squirrel and another with a photo of a hot air balloon shaped like a female's backside.

The City of San Antonio reported just three examples of employees misusing computers. Two of those were because employees were looking at photos of a sexual nature.

In Northeast ISD, an employee was disciplined for a computer search for a topless woman with tattoos covering her body. Another employee was found trying to log on to

In SAISD, an employee was disciplined for a breach of confidentiality involving student information.

SAISD Spokeswoman Leslie Price said another incident involved a school class that saw pornographic images on a projection screen.

"At one point, they went to refresh the image, opened up a different file and saw some sort of inappropriate images of females," Price said.

That teacher resigned in lieu of termination.

In Northside ISD, one employee was found shopping online, another was looking for jobs on district time and another spent 35 hours using the internet for personal pursuits.

All that usage paid for by taxpayer and ratepayer dollars.

Nowadays, readily available software can allow public entities to easily track which websites employees are using and for how long and what emails they send.

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