The city's recently fired chief planner has been charged with possession and distribution of child pornography after images allegedly were found on his work computer.

JACKSONVILLE — The city's recently fired chief planner has been charged with possession and distribution of child pornography after images allegedly were found on his work computer.

Scott Clay, 55, was fired from his job last week as city planner and historic preservation officer after child pornography was found on his work computer, Jacksonville city officials said.

Clay was indicted Tuesday in Jackson County Circuit Court on charges of first-degree encouraging child sexual abuse and second-degree encouraging child sexual abuse, both felonies.

The Jacksonville City Council voted unanimously on Aug. 18 to terminate Clay from his city planner job, which he took on in 2001.

Councilman John Dodero confirmed Wednesday that Clay was fired because of inappropriate use of city equipment. The vote came after the council ended an executive session.

“We got all the information that we needed,” said Dodero. “We were able to get a unanimous vote for dismissal.

“The contract that we have with (the employees) says that any inappropriate use of city equipment is grounds for dismissal, which basically has been done.

“Normally we trust our employees. In this case, it was probably misplaced, but we don't really police our employees as to what's on their computers,” said Dodero. “He (Clay) was kind of barricaded back in the back of his office. We couldn't see what he was doing back there. Nobody had any idea of what was going on.”

Mayor Bruce Garrett said that after city officials were made aware of the issue, the city revised its computer policies and procedures to prevent similar occurrences.

E-mail policies now in place could prevent similar problems, said Councilman Dan Winterburn. He said the city did not have e-mail policies when Clay began employment and that he was not provided any additional training on e-mail policies, so his dismissal was linked to the inappropriate-use guidelines.

Clay was a Jackson County planner from 1981 to 1999 and the Southern Oregon regional representative for 1000 Friends of Oregon, a land-use watchdog group, from 1999 to 2001. He has consulted on numerous historical projects in the Rogue Valley and served on the board of the Southern Oregon Historical Society from 1978 to 1989.

Clay's indictment occurred on the same day that Ashland resident James Auchincloss, half-brother of Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, was indicted on 25 felony counts of encouraging child sexual abuse.

Eagle Point resident Dennis Vickoren, a co-defendant with Auchincloss, also was indicted on 30 felony counts of encouraging child sexual abuse for allegedly disseminating, duplicating and possessing child pornography.

Jackson County Deputy District Attorney David Hoppe said Clay's case is separate from that of Auchincloss and Vickoren.

“We found no nexus between him and the other two defendants,” Hoppe said.

Clay and Vickoren were involved in the public access show “Wilde Life,” which aired on RVTV Channels 15 and 93. It dealt exclusively with gay issues — issues involving gay men in particular — and was produced by Vickoren and hosted by Clay.

Reach reporter Chris Conrad at 776-4471; or e-mail cconrad@mailtribune.com. Tony Boom is a freelance writer who covers Jacksonville. Reach him at tboom8929@charter.net.