Thank You For Your Service

Thank you for your service, Kevin Buker, but I hope your nuisance lawsuit dries up and blows away. The Howard County Fired Department has decided to go in a different direction so, you know. Good luck in your endeavors.

An officer in the Howard County Department of Fire and Rescue Services has filed a wrongful termination lawsuit against the county after being fired for what the lawsuit states were personal posts on his Facebook page. 

According to the complaint, Battalion Chief Kevin P. Buker, a former Marine, was working a 24-hour shift on Jan. 20 when he posted the following message to his Facebook account: "My aide had an outstanding idea .... Let's kill someone with a liberal ... then maybe we can get them outlawed too! Think of the satisfaction of beating a liberal with another liberal ... its almost poetic...." 

One of Buker's Facebook friends, Mark Grutzmacher, a Howard County volunteer firefighter, then commented on the post, according to the lawsuit, stating, "But ... was it an '[assault] liberal'? Gotta pick a fat one, those are the 'high capacity' ones. Oh pick a black one, those are more 'scary.' Sorry had to perfect on a [sic] cool idea!" 

Buker then liked Grutzmacher's comment and posted in reply "Lmfao! Too cool, Mark Grutzmacher."

I'm not sure what the point of this is. Apparently, Mr. Buker thinks it is perfectly okay to make violent, racist material available through his Facebook account so that people can have a good laugh. As a private citizen, go for it, sport. As the battalion chief of a fire department, nope. Sorry. The County shouldn't lose this one and, if it does, you can be rest assured that a lawyer will see to it that the County has an updated and amended policy about social media activities.

Here you have a tough guy who asserts that he has the freedom to do whatever he wants and, instead of going and getting a job where he can't be fired for being an asshole online, he files a lawsuit. How many tough guys file lawsuits when they've been terminated for cause after admitting that what they did? Facebook is the devil, people. It's the end of everything decent in America. That's why you ought to be on Google+, where no one will ever see anything you ever write or do.

The nice thing is that Buker was "sorry" for what he had done.

When Buker removed it, he posted a comment stating, "To prevent future 'butthurt' and comply with a directive from my supervisor, a recent post (meant entirely in jest) has been deleted... If I offend you, feel free to delete me. Or converse with me. I'm not scared or ashamed of my opinions or political leaning, or religion," court documents stated.

It's kind of hard to elicit any sympathy when you read about how defiant someone is after they've been told that what they did offended people. A smarter person would have been contrite, given the nature of public service positions and leadership roles. Mr. Buker does have a right to be offensive, but as a public official, he should accept the fact that being offensive could legitimately cost him his job. We've seen it happen time and again. So, no hard feelings and here's hoping your butthurt doesn't extend too far down the trail.

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