Ulster corrections officer under investigation for Facebook post
Patricia Doxsey is reporting in the Daily Freeman an Ulster County corrections officer is under investigation for a Facebook post the county executive called racist and sexist. The County Sheriff's Office is investigating to determine if 27-year veteran Charles Polacco violated the department’s social media policy. The Nov. 20 post on Polacco’s Facebook page begins, “This morning I went to sign my dogs up for welfare." The post has been making the rounds online since at least 2010, Doxsey writes. Ulster County Executive Michael Hein said he was “repulsed and infuriated” by the post, which he called both “racist and sexist.” The Sheriff's Office social media policy, adopted in 2012, states in part: “As members of the Sheriff’s Office, employees are embodiments of its mission” and should “strive to maintain the public trust,” both on and off duty. The policy also states the online activities of department employees should reflect the higher expectations and standards to which police personnel are held. Hein said he trusts the sheriff’s ongoing internal investigation will conclude with the most severe disciplinary actions possible. County Legislature Chairman Ken Ronk called the post “disappointing” and suggested that Polacco apologize for “a lapse of judgement.” The Rev. Frank Alagna, a priest at Holy Cross/Santa Cruz Episcopal Church in Kingston said, “We’re functioning as a country without any moral compass and without ethical standards. There is an ugliness and evil that is palpable.” Earlier this year, a city of Newburgh police officer was fired for an Instagram post showing a Confederate flag and an image of a person with his pants pulled partially down. Read the full story in the Daily Freeman.