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Delaware assistant fire chief suspended over anti-gay Facebook slur

Lewes Fire Department investigating Bill Buckaloo's comments

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Today’s SMACSS (Social Media Assisted Career Suicide Syndrome) alert comes from Sussex County, Delaware. News reports indicate Bill Buckaloo has been removed from his post as Lewes Fire Department’s assistant chief and suspended from the department pending an investigation into an anti-gay slur used in a post on his personal Facebook page. The comment came after Buckaloo and friends attended a weekend drag performance at a well-known Rehoboth Beach restaurant. In 2018, when he fire was fire chief, Buckaloo had been involved in another incident that brought unwanted attention to the department.

Buckaloo apologized after removing the Facebook post. His original comments have been condemned by the department and others. Buckaloo did find some support in a letter published by Delmarva Now from an openly gay part time Lewes Fire Department employee..

Shannon Marvel McNaught, Delmarva Now:

William Buckaloo posted on Facebook from The Blue Moon in Rehoboth Beach on Sunday night. The post included two photos – one of himself and one of drag queen Magnolia Applebottom performing at the Blue Moon.

In the post, Buckaloo used a derogatory term to describe the show. The post was quickly deleted but not before screenshots of it could be saved.

In July 2018, the Lewes Police Department charged Buckaloo with disorderly conduct while he was serving as chief. He and another man stripped down to their underwear and urinated into the Lewes Canal, according to court documents.

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Nick Roth, Cape Gazette:

Lewes Fire Department spokesman Glenn Marshall said Buckaloo has been suspended and removed as assistant fire chief, a volunteer position. The fire department’s disciplinary committee will review the incident and recommend action to the department’s president.

“While he was not representing the department at the time, it obviously reflects back on the department and the town itself,” Marshall said. “We do not tolerate this.”

“I made an inappropriate comment last night on a post,” Buckaloo said in a Facebook post Nov. 16. “I want to sincerely apologize for my distasteful choice of words. I definitely displayed a lack of good character and judgment. I offended a lot of people including myself. I have no excuse whatsoever. I am truly sorry for all the harm I have caused.”

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Jaryd Leady, WRDE-TV:

The post sent out on Nov. 15th by Assistant Lewes Fire Chief, Bill Buckaloo, has now been removed, but the words are still lingering for many. After a typical Sunday night at the Blue Moon where Magnolia Applebottom was performing her one woman comedy show. Buckaloo sat front row as Jeremy Bernstein, who plays the character of Magnolia Applebottom performed. Bernstein says the post comes as a shock.

Bernstein said, “You don’t know people’s past and history, bullied in high school and middle school and even in college and that word is like other words you would call a minority group of people.”

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