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Geraldine Assistant Police Chief fired after controversial Facebook post

The mayor says the post was against the city's social media policy.

Posted: Mar 4, 2020 8:05 PM
Updated: Mar 4, 2020 10:07 PM

The city of Geraldine fired the assistant police chief after a controversial Facebook post against house speaker Nancy Pelosi.

Officer Jeff Buckles wrote "road side bomb on her way home" after Pelosi ripped up the President's State of the Union speech.

The mayor told WAAY 31 Officer Buckles was fired not because of what he wrote on Facebook, but because the post itself was against the city's social media policy.

"In my opinion, it wasn't any kind of a threat," Mayor Chuck Ables said.

Mayor Ables says the city placed the officer on paid leave to investigate and hold a due process hearing. The hearing is similar to a trial.

An attorney from Fort Payne was chosen to be the impartial decision maker. After hearing from both sides, he filed a three-page report and recommended firing officer buckles for violating the city’s social media policy.

"He was acting like a judge, so I felt like we should honor his recommendation,"Mayor Ables said.

That report cannot be shared because the officer chose to make his hearing private.

The mayor says Buckles understands the consequences.

"He was apologetic," he said. "I'm sorry that it came to this; but, it's just one of those decisions, where we have policies, where we are sworn into office to uphold the Constitution, the policies and rules of our town. That's the decision that was made."

The mayor couldn't provide the city's social media policy immediately, but he did say the policy includes a section explaining officers shouldn’t post anything disrespectful against the town or others.

The mayor says the Geraldine police chief went over the city's policy before the assistant police chief's post. The chief went over the policy with officers again after this whole incident.

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