College employee who pleaded guilty to child porn charges still on payroll

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AUBURN — An employee at Green River Community College pleaded guilty to child pornography charges in federal court, but he’s still getting paid.

BENJAMIN GRANBenjamin Gran is on administrative leave and the school says there’s nothing they can do to stop it.

“It’s a personnel issue and we have to follow our legal due diligence,” college spokeswoman Vickie Sheehan said Thursday.  “We’re very aware of the situation, we’re working heard to rectify it but we’re limited to what we have to do legally so that’s what we have to stick with.”

Gran, who worked on computers at the college, was arrested and charged with possessing and trading child pornography earlier this year. He pleaded guilty to the charges in September, but he was never fired.

“It’s really not that simple,” said Sheehan. “It’s a legal matter, a personnel issue and we’re working diligently within the legal confines as what we can do.”

The college says they can’t just fire Gran. Sheehan says union and legal requirements limit the actions the school can take.

But the Washington Federation of State Employees Union says the college could have fired Fran after he pleaded guilty.

“Pointing to the union or to the union contract, in my opinion, is ridiculous,” said union spokesperson Greg Devereux. “If they follow the contract, they could have done something in September or October. Pointing to us now or saying we’re trying to hold it up until he’s sentenced in January is ridiculous.”

Union employee or not, Green River students we spoke with believe the college should fire Gran immediately.

“It’s wrong,” said student Fatima Maldonado. “It’s crazy to think I’m paying for that, that a lot of students are paying for that. I don’t know why he’s being paid.”

Gran is being paid up to a $1,000 a week, according to online records. Those checks could finally stop when Gran is sentenced in early 2014.

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