Firing dispatcher for Facebook drug joke was right, Wisconsin council claims

By Pondlife · May 25, 2010 · ·
  1. Pondlife
    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

    http://www.news.com.au/breaking-new...n-council-claims/story-e6frfku0-1225870794794

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Comments

  1. KingMe
    sad... it is swims opinion that in standing by their decision the police dept is destroying its own credibility. an embarrasment to the city because of a joke online? that was proven not to be true via urine and hair samples?
    whatever happened to privacy? is not one entitled to his own opinions in his own home, his own time?

    just goes to show how blurred the line between the real life and the online persona is.
  2. Sven99
    And by firing her they're making this whole thing into a press spectacle and making sure more people hear about it.
  3. Lokifer
    But it must be admitted that it is partially her fault. Although the city's actions are not logical. Many workplaces do check your facebook for things like that. She sort of self-incriminated herself. If you are making jokes like that you should definitely have your profile set to private. However, I do agree that the city should reinstate her because she was not found to be a user of any of the illegal substances posted.
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