We first heard from our friend Curt Varone about a sheriff’s department civilian employee in Virginia who lost his job after hitting “Like” on a Facebook post. Now we have learned the discipline for two firefighters and a cop from Columbus, Mississipi who clicked “Like” on a Facebook posting in August by now former Columbus firefighter Brad Alexander. Firefighters Damon Estes and Erik Minga and police officer Lance Luckey were each suspended for 30-days following an executive session of the mayor and city council.
As we first told you yesterday, Brad Alexander resigned after 12-years on the department. He also apologized on his Facebook page (see above) for a post he wrote voicing his frustration and questioning the whereabouts of the mother after a two-year-old child had been struck by a car. So far we have not seen the exact content of the offending post.
The Dispatch reports the council was split in its vote with some worried about this being a free speech issue. The City of Columbus does not specific policy covering Facebook comments.
The post reportedly attracted several comments along with multiple “likes” before it was brought to the attention of Alexander’s battalion chief and fire chief Ken Moore. Alexander and Moore met with mayor Robert Smith and members of the city council last Monday to discuss the post and potential disciplinary action.
The events unfolded in executive session but multiple sources said both firefighters Estes and Minga wrote letters of apology to the mayor and council. Those sources also claim Moore recommended 30-day suspensions for the two.
Chief of Police Selvain McQueen also reportedly recommended a 30-day suspension for Luckey. Luckey reportedly voiced his objections to the suspension, telling the mayor and council that he read the update from his cell phone and did not see the entire status update or the comments left underneath by various Facebook users.