School board upholds firing

Nude pictures of Pamela Anderson left a Richmond County school police officer without a job.

After less than three minutes of deliberation, the school board voted to uphold the firing of Officer Rolf Cramer on Monday after a hearing to appeal his termination.

The school board officer of six years was accused of viewing nude and pornographic images on his work computer in the middle of a January school day.

But Officer Cramer contended the images could have been downloaded on his computer by anyone with access to his Spirit Creek Middle School office. He also said no one could have seen the images on the computer screen through his closed blinds and he is never in the office during the time in question.

His testimony and the testimony of Principal Sharon McAlevy, however, couldn't sway board members who also heard from Tim Parker, assistant principal of A.R. Johnson Health Science and Engineering Magnet High School.

Mr. Parker, who investigated the allegations for the school board's internal affairs office, conducted a forensic investigation of Officer Cramer's computer hard drive and found "rather graphic" images had been downloaded.

The forensic investigation of the hard drive uncovered time-stamped pictures that were downloaded during lunch on Jan. 24, Mr. Parker said. It also revealed that after less risque photos of Pamela Anderson were downloaded, the computer's security feature was disabled to allow fully nude photos to be downloaded.

The officer, though, said he isn't computer savvy and wouldn't risk his future or the future of his daughter.

"I'm a single parent of a 10-year-old daughter, and I would never do anything to jeopardize my ability to support her, since I'm the only thing she has here," Officer Cramer told the board.

In November, the board reversed an administration decision to discipline the officer for his reaction to a school custodian pulling what he thought was a handgun on him. It turned out to be a BB gun.

The initial discipline came before the investigation was complete.

Officer Cramer complained that his March termination also came before the investigation was completed.

Reach Greg Gelpi at (706) 828-3851 or greg.gelpi@augustachronicle.com.