City Wants to Boot Firefighter After Facebook Comments

     (CN) — A Michigan city seeks to block the reinstatement of its former chief firefighter after he made highly offensive and racist comments to another man on Facebook.
     Michael Head was the City of Harper Woods’ fire chief on March 12, 2015, when he commented on a WXYZ-TV Facebook page story about the open carry of a firearm near a school.
     Head became infuriated with Mickey Goode’s comments on the same story, and “suggested he perform an unnatural act with a dog,” according to the city’s complaint.
     Goode responded by calling Head a “window-licking retard.”
     The online argument devolved further, with Head suggesting that Goode was “raping the kid” who appears with Goode in his Facebook profile picture. That kid was Goode’s five-year-old daughter.
     Head continued to hurl insults at Goode, culminating in calling Goode a “dumb spic” and telling him to “enjoy your dad’s dick,” before he blocked Goode.
     Goode reported Head’s online comments to Harper Woods Public Safety Lieutenant John Vorgitch, and Head was fired.
     The firefighters’ union filed a grievance on Head’s behalf challenging the discharge and won his reinstatement to a position as a firefighter, but not to his former position as chief.
     The city asked a state judge in a complaint filed Monday to vacate the arbitration award “as a violation of clearly stated public policy that makes cyber-attacks a misdemeanor offence.”
     It also asked the court to find that the arbitrator does not retain jurisdiction “to entertain questions concerning Head’s fitness to return to duty based on information obtained after the discharge.”
     The city is represented by Sharon DeWaele with Bellanca LaBarge P.C. in Harper Woods.

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