Confessed child pornographer keeps college salary

AUBURN, Wash. -- Students at Auburn's Green River Community College were shocked to learn that a confessed child pornographer is being paid to stay home from his job as a computer technician at the college.

Staff member Benjamin Gran has confessed to federal charges of possession of massive amounts of child porn, yet he continues to be paid by the college.

"It's kind of alarming, to be honest," said student Jake O'Donnell,

Like O'Donnell, student Samantha Kraft was upset to learn about the charges.

"I guess he should have been fired a long time ago," she said.

Gran had been working in the school's IT department until federal child porn possession charges were filed last February.

"Well, we take it very seriously and that's why he's been on administrative leave," said school spokesperson Vickie Sheehan.

That means he's ordered to stay at home while collecting full pay. State records shows Gran makes $48,000 a year. The college says it has no choice but to pay until Gran is sentenced in January.

"It's the condition of him being in the union and him being here on campus as an employee," Sheehan said.

But Gran's union, Washington Federation of State Employees, said that's just not true.

"I don't know how they can say our contract or we are forcing them. That, in my opinion, is nonsense," said Greg Devereux, WFSE's executive director.

The union says an employee has to be paid until they're either convicted or plead guilty. Gran did that in September, yet he still gets his salary for doing nothing. The college says it's just following legal due diligence.

Reached at his Federal Way home, Gran refused to comment on the story.