SLO employee discriminates via Facebook
December 28, 2011
By KAREN VELIE
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.