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City temp a regular on online forums

'Sassy Sarah' posted on Web 6,622 times

By TOM TROY

BLADE STAFF WRITER

City of Toledo officials say Scott Leo got his engineering work done on time, so they paid little attention to exactly what he was doing on the computer.

Mr. Leo, operating with an Internet identity he called "Sassy Sarah," was using his city computer to access an online discussion group hosted by sportswrath.com - apparently hundreds of times a day.

Sassy Sarah's frequent appearance in online discussions during work hours was brought to city officials' attention Dec. 27 by a citizen who said he was irritated by the apparent misuse of taxpayers' computers and work time.

Since then, city officials have determined that the Web site was accessed 19,200 times between Aug. 18 and Nov. 2 - all from three computers in Mr. Leo's work area, and all with a password that was assigned to him.

Mr. Leo was an intern with the city for 14 months, until his resignation Nov. 20, according to Robert Williams, director of the Department of Public Utilities. He said Mr. Leo was provided to the city by Cardinal Temporary Services, which was paid $16.88 an hour.

The picture that pops up on Sassy Sarah's identity page is that of an attractive blonde, and Sassy Sarah often commented from the perspective of being a female.

Yesterday, Mr. Leo acknowledged being Sassy Sarah, but said fake identities are commonplace on the Internet.

"The Internet is full of people who make false claims. I wasn't going to say who I really was. That was stuff that I didn't think anybody would really care about," Mr. Leo said.

He insisted he did not frequently post comments and, when he did so, it was during one of his two 15-minute breaks or 30-minute lunch break.

Typically, members of the Web site open up topics of discussion, and then wait while other members post comments to a bulletin board.

According to the Web site, Sassy Sarah posted comments 6,622 times since Aug. 18, an average of about 45 times a day through yesterday and included times both before and after his workday. It was not possible to determine how many times Sassy Sarah reopened, or refreshed, the Web site to keep track of postings.

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