Saturday, February 26, 2011
Words on Facebook cost Bourne firefighter his job
BOURNE, Mass. -- A firefighter's angry words on Facebook cost him his job and now he could be trying to get it back.
Veteran firefighter of 16 years, Richard Doherty was terminated by the town of Bourne after expletive laden insults posted on Facebook last summer.
In the posts he uses foul language and anti-gay slurs to slam Bourne police officers, his deputy fire chief and the town itself.
In his termination, Town Administrator Thomas Guarino stated: “Firefighter Doherty has disqualified himself from the ability to serve as a firefighter because he elected to post on the Internet a message that causes the public to question whether he can serve all of its citizens.”
“The town of Bourne wouldn’t tolerate that kind of mindset from employees. We send out a message that we want them to be professional and we support the town administrator,” said John Ford, Bourne Board of Selectmen.
No one answered at Doherty’s home address in Bourne Thursday night, though one of his rants mentioned that he had moved away from the town, which he used an expletive to describe.
“I don’t take anything personally. This is a job - we take it serious. We want to protect the reputation of the fire department - we’ve got an excellent fire department, and we want to protect the reputation of the town of Bourne,” said Ford.
The firefighters union said they’d appeal the decisions.
Spokesman Gil Taylor told 7NEWS “Mr. Doherty is not a racist, bigot, [anti-gay], nor anti-special needs as the town alleges. He has never provided substandard service or patient care to anyone regardless of his personal feelings.”
The union told 7NEWS that their appeal will center around the fact that they don’t believe the status updates on Facebook were for public consumption. They say the firefighter’s Facebook was setup to have restricted access for only his friend and family.