A Department of Environmental Protection staffer apparently unaware of a recent phenomenon known as "e-mail" has been fined for racking up a $3K-plus charge on his city-issued BlackBerry, having sent and received a slew of text messages to/from local and international phone numbers. No, taxpayers are not responsible for funding your desire to send panda emojis overseas, no matter how adorable they are.
Pierre Saint-Louis, an auditor for the DEP, has agreed to pay the city $3,089.97 after sending nearly 12,400 personal text messages from his city-issued phone, violating agency regulations. "From June 2012 through September 2013, I used my DEP-issued BlackBerry frequently for personal text messaging, including to send messages to and receive messages from international phone numbers," Saint-Louis wrote in the settlement agreement. "During that same time period, I also used the BlackBerry to make personal phone calls each day, including nights and weekends."
In addition to paying back the $3,089.97 fine, Saint-Louis has to give up five vacation days. This is just like that time your parents discovered those NiteFlirt charges on their Bell Atlantic bill, except now we are all adults capable of signing up for unlimited data and messaging plans.