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September 6th, 2006 Josh Silverman | Rogue of the Week
 

Bob Thorn

     
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What I did on my porn- surfing vacation...
When you've been entangled in a porn investigation at a local cable-access studio, don't be surprised when the Rogue desk exposes you for telling false yarns about why you resigned last year at the Clackamas County station.

Former Willamette Falls TV station manager Bob Thorn claimed last week in Rick Bella's Oregonian column that he resigned because he was "set up" by a station colleague after he confronted her about allegedly taking unauthorized vacation.

But the Rogue desk has memos that tell a different story.

The tale begins in April 2005 when studio manager Melody Ashford says she opened a minimized window on a computer at the cable station, revealing a pornographic image involving a boy between 6 and 9 years old. Alarm code logs detailed in subsequent police reports revealed that Thorn had been poking around the station after hours the previous day, making him the prime suspect. Police seized station hard drives, prompting Thorn's resignation. Forensic tests revealed only kinky pictures of the legal variety, involving adults. And no charges were filed.

The scandal—something of a tempest in a suburban teapot, given the station's obscurity—burbled on for a year. Most recently, Thorn told The Oregonian that he was set up by Ashford after confronting her about taking an unauthorized vacation.

Now back to those memos acquired by the Rogue Desk. The station memos show the paid vacations Ashford took occurred in July 2005, three months after Thorn's resignation.

"I guess when people are accused they need to attack someone else in whatever way they think they can," Ashford says.

Ashford and at least one other Willamette Falls staffer say Thorn's departure made the station a more comfortable—if considerably less racy—place. "I was afraid to open jpegs because of what I'd find," says Deb Graham, a station administrative assistant.

Thorn didn't return messages from WW—but he should get his story straight first if he ever does decide to give us a jingle.

 
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