A CITY council in Wisconsin defended its decision to fire a Police and Fire Department dispatcher who joked about drug addiction on her Facebook page.
Dana Kuchler, a 21-year veteran of the West Allis' Dispatch Department, joked that she was addicted to "Vicodin, Adderall, quality marijuana, MD 20/20 Grape and (absinthe)" on the social networking site.
She was fired from her job for the remarks and appealed to an arbitrator, claiming the Facebook post was a joke. She pointed out she had written "ha" in it and urine and hair samples tested negative for drugs.
The arbitrator said she should be entitled to go back to work after a 30-day suspension, but the City of West Allis complained that was not appropriate.
"Making stupid jokes on Facebook where the line between public and private communications is admittedly blurred, calls into question that good judgment and common sense of the grievant and her resulting ability to perform her job," the City argued.
It added that Kuchler's post "mocks and is blatantly inconsistent with the mission of the Police Department that employs her."
In firing Kuchler, the West Allis Police Chief wrote that Kuchler's Facebook posting "destroyed the city's trust and confidence in (her) ability and integrity" as a dispatcher and was "an embarrassment to the city."
NewsCore, May 25, 2010 12:11AM