The suddenly unemployed is Kevin P. Buker, recently a battalion chief with Howard County Fire & Rescue. Here’s what he posted to his Facebook timeline back in January (while working a 24-hour shift, no less):
“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….”
Then one of Buker’s Facebook friends commented on the status, giving the joke a vaguely racist twist. Then Buker “liked” the comment and responded with an “Lmfao!”
He removed the post at the behest of the assistant chief a few days later. In February he “liked” a picture of “an elderly woman with her middle finger extended,” underneath which a volunteer firefighter had written a caption stating that he would “post whatever the f–k I want.” In March, he was fired.
The county’s view is that Buker’s actions violated “sections of the county’s code, social media guidelines and the Howard County Maryland Employee Manual” But even so, and as offensive as Buker’s joke is, it’s a little chilling to think that you could be fired from your job for expressing your political views (however callously) on your personal Facebook page.
For his part, Buker has filed a wrongful termination lawsuit.
I recommend reading the original article at Ellicott City Patch; it’s loaded with surreal gems like “Buker liked the post that same day, according to the lawsuit.”