Mass. firefighter fired over Facebook posts, images

Veteran firefighter's postings deemed a violation of department conduct

By FireRescue1 Staff

BOURNE, Mass. — A Massachusetts firefighter-medic was fired Wednesday over his Facebook posts and images.

Bourne Firefighter-medic Richard Doherty, a 16-year veteran, was dismissed after the Bourne Town Administrator ruled he had violated the department's rules and regulations, reported The Cape Cod Times.

Town Administrator Thomas Guerino ruled some of Doherty's posts on the social networking site "ridiculed and disparaged" others in the fire department and other public safety departments.

Other posts may have made gay slurs and been demeaning to people with disabilities, according to the newspaper

"This conduct ... undercuts public confidence in the town's ability to provide these services," Guerino wrote in his ruling.

The town ruled Doherty had repeatedly violated rules on Facebook, and some posts may have been made while on duty.

"[Doherty] was not only neglecting his duties for which he was being paid by Bourne taxpayers but was violating the rules of the department and undermining public safety services," Attorney Charles Sabbatt, the town's disciplinary hearing officer, told The Bourne Courier.

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