AUSTIN (KXAN) – The City of Austin investigated a senior IT systems administrator for the Public Works Department after he included links to websites for a book where he was a coauthor.
The City said Istvan Voiculescu violated city code by misusing his city email account for private purposes.
Voiculescu included the links in approximately 6,000 emails between May 2016 and Dec. 2020.
“Voiculescu removed the link from his email signature in Dec. 2020 after Public Works Management coached him on personal content in his emails,” the investigation findings showed.
The city provided Voiculescu with a draft of the investigative report. The report included responses from Voiculescu.
“It is not, and never was my intent, to bring any perceived damage to the city in any way through my actions as an employee, even though, unknowingly, I appear to have done that according to the report,” Voiculescu said in response to the city’s investigation.
In a continued response, Voiculescu said he was unaware of the standards for city email signatures until it was brought to his attention, and he removed the links.
“Without being aware of any rules or standards regarding the signatures at the city, I began to use the same type of signature I would use in the private sector; a few years well before this became an issue, according to the report,” Voiculescu said in response.
Voiculescu said there was no way to show he was a published author without pointing to the website for the book.
“No website would present the book without some way of buying it embedded in the page,” Voiculescu said. “I did not advertise or intended to advertise the book in any city emails to anyone or suggested to people to buy it in any city communications, be it emails or other means.”
The city auditor’s office said it reviewed Voiculescu’s response and determined the investigation’s findings stand.
The full investigation report can be read here.