I’m as shocked by this as you are.
The Metropolitan Transit Authority’s efforts to rebuild public confidence suffered a setback Thursday with the announcement that President and CEO George Greanias, the public face of the “new Metro,” has been suspended for visiting sexually explicit websites using the agency’s Internet access.
Some observers said Greanias, who has led Metro since last September, has been so good for the agency that the embarrassing bombshell should not prevent his continued leadership. Others said the damage to his reputation and Metro’s will be too great for him to continue effectively.
Metro suspended Greanias for one week without pay effective immediately, a punishment that Chairman Gilbert Garcia said was harsher than typically would be assessed for a violation of Metro’s electronic communications policies. The suspension will cost Greanias about $4,500, Garcia said.
An investigation revealed that while on his personal computer at Metro headquarters, 1900 Main St., Greanias visited more than a dozen “adult-oriented sites of a sexual nature” using wireless Internet access provided by the agency, Metro said in a news release.
I’m going to guess that since he was on his personal laptop, Greanias didn’t realize that where he was surfing would be visible on the corporate network. You may scoff at that, but after 20 years in the IT business, I’ve learned to never underestimate people’s ability to not know how their computers work. Having said that, one would think that keeping the naughty stuff out of the office regardless would be common sense.
I feel terrible about this for George Greanias and for Metro. Greanias has done an outstanding job as Metro CEO, and has done more to rehabilitate that agency’s image than any ten people. I’ve had the chance to meet him a few times since he took over, and I’ve been very impressed by him, not just as a CEO but as a person. I hope, I really do, that people will chalk this up as a personal mistake that won’t affect his ability to keep doing great work as Metro CEO. David Vitter is still a Senator. Hugh Grant is still a movie star. It would be a tragedy if his talents were to be discarded. The good news there is that so far this seems to be everything. Metro did some more checking and found that he didn’t violate email policies, so that should help him. If this is all there is – if there are no further revelations of wrongdoing, or announcements that what had been previously declared to be true about who did what actually isn’t true, then I think this story will die from lack of oxygen, I hope that’s what happens. Robert Miller, who thinks Greanias will survive this incident, and Marc Campos, who doesn’t, have more.