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Co-workers: DHS official had previous pornography incident

From Justine Redman
CNN

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Former Department of Homeland Security spokesman Brian Doyle faces charges of soliciting a minor.

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WASHINGTON (CNN) -- A Department of Homeland Security spokesman charged with soliciting a minor over the Internet was disciplined in a previous job after an incident in which pornographic images were seen on an office computer, his friends and former co-workers said.

Brian Doyle resigned from his Homeland Security Department post Friday, his 56th birthday.

Doyle remains in a Maryland detention center where he awaits extradition to Polk County, Florida. There he is charged with seven counts of solicitation of a minor and 16 counts of transmitting pornographic material to a minor. An extradition hearing is scheduled for May 4. (Watch authorities take Doyle away in cuffs -- 3:18)

Friends and former co-workers say Doyle was disciplined by Time magazine after he allegedly used company computers to view adult pornography in the publication's Washington bureau office.

Time magazine and CNN are both owned by Time Warner.

Time began an investigation after an employee in the bureau complained after finding offensive photographs on her computer, sources said. The photos, which were not of juveniles, were traced to Doyle. The complaint was dropped after Doyle's colleagues signed a petition of support, the sources said.

Doyle received a formal warning and was required to undergo mental health counseling before returning to work, the sources said.

Sources disagree over whether Time suspended Doyle or whether he took a leave of absence after the incident.

Time magazine said only that it employed Doyle for 26 years and refused to comment further.

Doyle left Time in 2001 and went to the Transportation Security Administration before becoming deputy press secretary at the Department of Homeland Security.

The Time revelation has prompted the chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee to schedule a May 18 hearing to scrutinize Homeland Security hiring practices, security clearances and other personnel issues.

Rep. Peter King, R-New York, said Doyle had access to sensitive information and could have left himself open to being blackmailed by terrorists, foreign governments or organized crime.

Homeland Security's failure to uncover the Time incident shows "serious deficiencies in the background clearance process at the Department of Homeland Security," King said.

Doyle has been "very, very depressed" after the deaths of his parents and two siblings, said his attorney Barry Hefland, who added that wants Doyle to undergo a psychiatric examination.

Police say that on March 12 Doyle had sexually explicit online conversations with and sent pornographic movie clips to a Polk County computer crimes detective posing as a 14-year-old girl. (Watch how youngsters make cash with webcams -- 2:49)

Doyle told the detective his name, his job and his phone numbers, including the one for his government-issued cell phone.

After his arrest Tuesday, Doyle was placed on administrative leave without pay and his security clearance was suspended.

CNN's Jeanne Meserve and Mike Ahlers contributed to this report.

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