Court: Mass. paramedic can be disciplined for Facebook posts

Expletive-filled postings complained about colleagues, superiors, town's Police Department

Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly

BOURNE, Mass. — Bourne firefighter and paramedic Richard Doherty wasn’t Facebook friends with the acting fire chief for whom he worked.

But he was a Facebook friend of the chief’s secretary, who printed out the expletive-filled postings on Doherty’s Facebook page in which he complained about his colleagues, superiors and the town's Police Department. Other postings by Doherty included derogatory terms for gays that poked fun at his personal friends, and he used a photo of the gay police officer on the comedy “Reno 911” to criticize local public safety officials with whom he had had disagreements. The postings resulted in Doherty’s termination.

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