An Alachua County Sheriff’s Office employee who was suspended and investigated for offensive Facebook comments June 16 was reinstated Wednesday after the conclusion of the investigation.
However, Ashley Mauger will be suspended again for 60 hours without pay and will be on disciplinary probation for a year, according to a press release from the Alachua County Sheriff’s Office. Mauger’s 60 hour re-suspension hasn’t begun yet, but the date will be determined by her supervisor, ACSO Spokesperson Art Forgey said.
Mauger was suspended after citizens reported her Facebook comments in which she threatened to not take 911 calls seriously, Forgey wrote in a June 16 press release.
If employees on disciplinary probation have any more disciplinary issues, they don’t have the right to utilize the Career Services Appeal Board, and any further disciplinary actions can result in their termination, said Forgey. Employees also aren’t eligible to apply for new positions at ACSO while on probation.
The investigation, conducted by ACSO’s Office of Professional Standards, resulted in a charge of conduct unbecoming an employee, which applies when an on-or-off-duty employee’s actions damage the public’s respect or confidence in the sheriff’s office.
In a statement from Mauger in the internal investigation report provided to The Alligator, she said her Facebook comments were taken out of context and that her intention was to point out grammatical errors made in a citizen’s comments.
“The intent of the post was that I could not fathom/understand the response that they would have if calling with an emergency,” Mauger wrote in the internal investigation report. “If they were unable to complete a comprehensible sentence, use incorrect grammar or uncommon terminology, that it would be more difficult to handle their issues in a prompt manner.”
Mauger wrote that once she realized her comments were misunderstood, she deleted them as well as her Facebook profile. She also wrote that she apologizes for the negative light her comments brought to the sheriff’s office.
The Alligator was unable to reach Mauger for comment after several phone calls Thursday.