AUGUSTA – A woman fired after 800 illegally downloaded music files were found on her work computer will be able to retain her unemployment benefits.

FairPoint Communications has withdrawn its court appeal of a ruling that allowed benefits for Jennifer H. Tanguay of Vassalboro.

Tanguay worked for the company in Winthrop and South China for more than four years until she was fired from her dispatch job Feb. 10, 2010.

Court records show that when her computer crashed on Feb. 2, 2010, technicians found LimeWire, a peer-to-peer file-sharing program used to download music, and about 800 illegally downloaded songs, as well as 12 computer viruses.

The company maintained Tanguay engaged in illegal activity that compromised network security and risked liability for copyright infringement.

She was initially denied unemployment benefits, but the Maine Unemployment Insurance Commission overturned the denial, saying Tanguay “made an isolated error of judgment when she downloaded the LimeWire software on the company’s computer” and that the conduct “does not constitute misconduct as defined by the Employment Security Law.”

FairPoint appealed the commission’s decision to Kennebec County Superior Court. But on Thursday, just before oral arguments in the case, FairPoint attorney Seth Fairbanks told the court the appeal was being withdrawn.

 


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