George Greanias, METRO CEO, was suspended yesterday by the METRO Board for viewing pornographic websites on his personal computer while at work. I have known Mr. Greanias since I was a student at Rice University, and he is a good and honorable man.
Mr. Greanias made a mistake. It was stupid to view pornography while in his office, and he is certainly paying the price of public embarrassment and humiliation in addition to the loss of a week's pay. But it was not illegal and it did not involve any loss of public funds -- there is no marginal cost to access an internal wireless access point or intranet.
METRO Chairman Garcia and Mr. Greanias are to be commended in the way they forthrightly handled the matter. The cardinal rule of politics is it is not the act that gets you, it is the cover up. When confronted with the evidence by his IT department, Greanias instructed them to take it to the Chairman of the Board. Similarly the Chairman and the Board addressed it in a forthright and transparent manner.
People make mistakes. Mr. Greanias made a grievous one. But, it does not wipe out the excellent job that he has done leading METRO or his lifetime of public service. He deserves a second chance, and in my political judgment he will get it.