ISD is one of the divisions/departments Andrew Lamberto oversees for the county of San Bernardino. For many years, they were some of my biggest supporters. Most of contacts there have long since moved on because they were tired of being asked to do unethical things by unethical people.
For those that don’t know, ISD takes care of the county’s computer, phone, security and radio systems. Those employees are placed in highly confidential situations yet are treated like crap by administration.
There is one story I always planned to write but things kept getting in the way. I think I may have mentioned it on the blog at one point but I am not sure. The employee that was asked to do the dirty work is long since gone so I shall tell a very brief version of it.
Back in 2009, I was contacted by an ISD employee who administered a chunk of the county’s security monitoring. He told me that the county purchased a large quantity of pin-hole type cameras to install in private county offices, such as offices of supervisors and managers. From what I remember the cameras were installed in the ceiling and due to the composition of the ceilings, occupants had no idea there were cameras up there recording everything they did behind closed doors.
In one instance, it could be said that a camera was being used to a good purpose, I suppose. He was asked to go to the old TAD office in Barstow and install one in a supervisor’s office. They recorded her without her knowing, of course, and found that she was having sex in her office with a client.
But, he was under the impression that not all cameras were being placed where employees were known to be doing something wrong. Some were being placed for the sole purpose of spying on employees.
I had my own office for many years, long before this. I can remember using my office to change my clothes before leaving for work, and other things I certainly would not want someone watching. I mean what woman doesn’t fix her pantyhose or bra behind closed doors. The whole thing stunk of voyeurism.
One of the things that held up the story was that I was trying to get a member of BOS interested. But the problem with that was that board members brought in outside contractors to check for recording devices. Mark Uffer and the Director of ISD at the time were known for spying on board members and department heads through a variety of means. So, because they could afford to have their offices swept for spying devices, they didn’t care what employees had to go through.
I realize that there is only a limited expectation of privacy even in private offices, but offices are used for a variety of things. Lactating employees will use them to pump breast milk; they are used to search individuals; they are used in medical emergencies; etc. To think the county has some pervert in front a computer screen watching these things is really disturbing. But that is San Bernardino County. (Ok, I stand corrected. The cameras record and then a group of perverts can watch the video over and over.)