Schools' Web Monitor Gets Probation

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For 17 years, Tony Wayne Dixon worked for the Miami-Dade school district, monitoring computer systems and ensuring no inappropriate material made it through web filters to impressionable kids.

This past Friday, Dixon was sentenced to five years probation, having been convicted on 17 counts of possession of child pornography and one count of transmitting child pornography.

Dixon earned $55,006 a year and had been on paid administrative leave since his arrest two years ago, until his resignation last week. Dixon's attorney, Rebecca Poston, emphasized that Dixon is not a sexual predator. "He's trying to do the best that he can with the scarlet letter that you get when you have one of these cases."

Police found pornographic images of children, including some younger than 12, during a 2005 raid of Dixon's North Miami Beach home. The raid took place after an unidentified informant persuaded Dixon to provide him with a CD-ROM containing child pornography and recorded Dixon allegedly admitting that he kept child pornography in a gun safe at home.

The informant told investigators that Dixon and other employees in the district's information technology services department had downloaded child pornography to their office computers -- a charge that was never proven, according to David Sherman, the lead prosecutor for the State Attorney's Office. "We were unable to confirm it and, of course, the inspector general's office was shut down," Sherman said, referring to the disbanding of the school district's internal investigative body last year.

Dixon's sentence could be cut to three years probation if he meets numerous conditions including registering as a sex offender, completing counseling, obeying a curfew and abiding by severe restrictions on his computer usage. -- Rob Jordan

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