The Lawton Constitution
POMPANO BEACH, Fla. — Placing toilet paper imprinted with President Barack Obama's face in a fire station has led to a Florida firefighter's termination.
It was Clint Pierce's third instance of posting political paraphernalia on city property and a violation of a direct order to cease and desist from such behavior, according to city records. He had until 5 p.m. Friday to turn in his badge.
"It was clearly a case of insubordination," Sandra King, a spokeswoman for the city of Pompano Beach, said Friday. "He had a similar situation of posting political messages on city property, and he was given a free pass at that time and told to cease and desist, and he did it again and really exacerbated the situation."
Expressions of political views that could be considered offensive or divisive don't belong on municipal property, the city says.
Pierce, 50, had been with the department since November 1993. Despite two telephone messages, he could not be reached for comment Friday. The incident exhibited "tasteless and disrespectful treatment" of the president, "caused significant divisiveness within the department and community," and led to "a community outcry" and "negative national news coverage," Fire Chief Harry L. Small wrote in a Nov. 29 order calling for Pierce's termination.
After investigating the toilet-paper stunt, Small concluded in a Nov. 20 memo that he "found no evidence to indicate that Pierce's actions were racially motivated.
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