SLO employee discriminates via Facebook

December 28, 2011


A San Luis Obispo Police department administrative assistant called her fellow staffers names and told them where they should go after a department employee asked to have her photo taken off a Christmas tree for religious reasons.

The outburst was a surprise to some as city employees recently concluded a mandatory internet anti-harassment and discrimination course that focused heavily on social media. In addition, Assistant to the Chief Christine Wallace has also attended an anger management course.

“Hey assholes at my new job, GFY (go fuck yourselves),” Wallace posted on her Facebook page shortly after then Chief Deborah Linden told her photos were only to be used for department purposes.

Wallace did not respond to requests for comment through her Facebook account.

In early December, Wallace decorated a Christmas tree with photos of police department employees. After discovering her photo on the tree, an employee who does not believe in celebrating Christmas asked to have her likeness removed from the decorated tree.

Linden responded by sending out a department email on Dec. 16 noting the employee’s request and saying that in the future staff photos are to be restricted to department uses.

“The tree is intended as a fun decoration and there was no intent to make anyone uncomfortable,” Linden said in the email. “So, if you do not want your photo on the tree, please let Christine know and she will remove it.

“As a reminder, the employee photos on the G-drive are intended for use when a department need arises,” Linden added. “Photos other than your own should not be used for non-departmental purposes without the permission of the person in the photo.”

Wallace, who had recently been promoted from a supervisory position with the city’s parks and recreations department, posted her angry Facebook rant later that day.

The city’s Parking Services Manager Robert Horch responded in surprise to Wallace’s angry post.

“Wow……you ok?” Horch posted.

Before securing her new police department position a few months ago, Wallace was in charge of rentals for the city’s parks and recreation department. After several complaints from the public that Wallace was openly hostile during rental negotiations, city officials ordered her to take anger management classes.

Phone requests for comment placed through the dispatch line to Captain Chris Staley, the acting chief, were not returned. Calls to the non-emergency line at the police department are currently routed to a voice message that says Wallace is on vacation and will return calls after she returns on Jan. 3.

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I worked at SLO Parks and Recreation for a bit during college and there are far worse problems than Christine’s attitude. It was so disorganized and unprofessional and I quit after a couple months. My guess is management and other employees drove her nuts. The place needs a complete overhaul of management. They did the exact same thing with the new Director of Parks and Recreation (Ms. Stanwyck) as they did with Christine. They moved Stanwyck from the City Manager’s office to manage Parks and Recreation with no Parks and Recreation experience. Word is they wanted her out of the manager’s office, that is the only reason that makes sense to me. A lot of parks employees were not happy about this move…just ask them, they were more than willing to tell me about it. There are some good people that work at Parks and Recreation but they are the ones making pennies, compared to the salaries of their superiors. As someone else posted, we need to take action as tax payers, part of this is our own fault. I have no idea what’s going on at the Police Department but I know an investigation should be going on at SLO Parks and Rec on how over paid and under achieving some people are over there. We need to get rid of the old government philosophy that once your hired you are in for life. People need to be accountable. This is bigger than Christine Wallace. To be honest, I don’t give a crap about what Christine says on her facebook profile, but if she isn’t getting her job done…get rid of her.

Maybe “GFY” really means “Good For You” and this is all just a big misunderstanding…

When are people going to learn that Facebook posting isn’t like talking one-on-one on a phone to someone whom you trust to keep it to themselves. That when you post on Facebook, you tell anyone in the world your business.

When will people learn that social media is the opposite of confidential? That what you put on these sites is automatically sent around the world and never, ever is completely erased from the Internet? These words could come back to haunt her for the rest of her life. And I say, Good! Maybe now she’ll learn something.

“Maybe “GFY” really means “Good For You” and this is all just a big misunderstanding…”

Good try but it won’t fly because she directed it to: “all the a$$holes at my new job”!

The best headline this story could have had would be:

“Former SLO Employee Discriminates via Facebook”

After Steve Gesell takes over as Chief tomorrow, that very well just may be the next headline, in fact, I’d bet on it. Here comes the new boss, not the same as the old boss…..

Don’t count on it. (not the same)