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Sheriff’s Office employee suspended 60 hours without pay after social media posts

BY JENNIFER CABRERA

According to a press release from the Alachua County Sheriff’s Office, the Internal Investigation on civilian employee Ashley Mauger has been completed by the Office of Professional Standards, sustaining a charge of Conduct Unbecoming an Employee. Ms. Mauger had been suspended on June 16 due to comments that she had made on a social media posting.

Ms. Mauger has been reinstated and will serve a 60 hour suspension without pay and will also be placed on disciplinary probation for 12 months.

According to the investigation report, the complaint was that Mauger responded to a controversial post on Facebook, that her response “called into question your willingness to provide emergency services to citizens if they were in need,” and that her actions “were done under the color of your authority as a Training Specialist and Communications Dispatcher.”

Mauger’s statement said that her statements simply pointed out grammatical errors in posts by “disgruntled citizens, followed by the example of how that could affect a 911 call.” She said her posts were “taken out of context and misinterpreted.” She said that after speaking to management, “I understood more that this could be taken to the extent that failure of service would be provided.” She went on to apologize “for the misrepresentation of my profession and even further for negative light it brought on the Sheriff, and the agency as a whole.”

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One of Mauger’s posts said, “all of you other ‘hot heads’ need to sit down and take some grammar courses when you are at home in your free time please. I can’t even fathom the response you will get the next time you dial 911 and possibly get me on the phone with a loved one or yourself in a life or death emergency. SMH you all should be ashamed of yourselves.”

The other one said, “and what have you done for your community recently? Hold on let’s get a background check haha.”

The charge carried a disciplinary range of two days’ suspension to termination. Five levels of supervisors recommended a one-week (40 hours) suspension without pay, but Sheriff Darnell wrote, “Very disappointing lack of taking responsibility hence additional hours of suspension,” with a note saying that the suspension would be for 60 hours without pay and 12 months of disciplinary probation.

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