Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Deputy Fired For Commenting On Blog

A Marion Co. special deputy, Rick Skirvin, tells Abdul Hakim-Shabazz on his WXNT radio program "Abdul In The Morning" that he was fired from his job for posting comments at the IndyUndercover blog site. Skirvin, who was paid only $5 a year as a reserve wagon driver for the Sheriff's department, criticized "Sheriff Anderson and his cronies" for driving Lincoln Marauders and suggested Mayor "Fart" Peterson work on cutting Sheriff Anderson's pay in half as a way of freeing up money to put more officers on the street. Skirvin said by identifying himself as a "reserve wagon driver" in his anonymous post, he told more information about himself than he should have. Although he made the post using a personal computer, the Sheriff's department figured out who he was and terminated him.

This incident brings to mind some anonymous e-mails which were forwarded to me last year. The e-mails purported to be exchanges between an Indianapolis fireman and Shabazz. It became apparent to me if the e-mails were authentic, someone was hacking into the fireman's personal e-mail account to read them. It also appeared the person had a nefarious motive for sending the e-mails to me. I chose not to reprint the content because I felt it was an invasion of both men's privacy. I did, however, let both men know that someone was reading their e-mails, presumably without their knowledge.

12 comments:

Anonymous said...

I'm guessing the special deputies have a written policy about such things. If so, this guy clearly violated it. I have no problem with this.

If he gave enough clues for his identity, he probably doesn't possess the hubris to be a special deputy. Their service is valuable, and I appreciate it. But I'm sure they have rules.

The time taken to figure out who he is, by the sheriff's office, is a little creepy.

And THIS, Wilson, is why people post anonymously. This, coupled with dumpster diving...

Abdul, once the city's hardest-working reporter, is turning into the IndyU mouthpiece, and frankly, it's getting old.

Most of the IndyU types are amazing. Is anyone really THAT angry? Someone needs to get on decaf.

Abdul said...

Anon 830,

For me the issue is not about free speech. IMPD is well within its rights to discipline the deputy.

However, I wish the department would work to improve morale and conditions so Indy Undercover wouldn't be necesary.

And you'll noticed, I signed my name.

Wilson46201 said...

When Republicans do basic fact-finding and background checks on Democratic candidates, they call it "opposition research". They're damn good at it and they spend big bucks doing it.

When Democrats do opposition research, the oh-so-outraged Republicans call it "dumpster diving". What's sauce for the goose is sauce for the gander!

blake10 said...

Actually, I heard from someone in internal affairs that he spent several hours posting from a county computer while he was supposed to be working.

Anonymous said...

Normally, I would assume a jounalist would verify the story with the person doing the firing (or at least check), but since the IndyUndercover, I mean Abdul radio show makes it up as it goes along...

Anonymous said...

Unlike the sworn deputies, who are under the state's merit system, reserves are at-will employees, subject to termination at any point. He was stupid for saying who he was. The bigger question is, do we really want a police administration that terminates someone for speaking out against unsafe staffing, misuse of funds, etc.? If someone has a concern about officer and/or public safety, should they be terminated for bringing this to the taxpaying publics attention?

Anonymous said...

"Normally, I would assume a journalist would verify the story with the person doing the firing"

And you know that didn't happen because...?

Truth isn't a strong point of the current administration.

Anonymous said...

It's unusual for Abdul to be unbiased or dogged in his research...

(But his audience is so small that it doesn't matter...I get the debrief from the blogs...)

GaryJ said...

I wish Indyundercover didn't have anything to post. With the current administration, IndyU will not go away!

Anonymous said...

Interesting blogs...My name is Rick Skirvin, I do not have a google account. That is why it said anonymous when I posted once. I didn't violate any policy. The MCSD can terminate at anytime. They chose to terminate me for what I posted. I didn't make it difficult to figure out who I was because I wanted people to know that I wasn't someone that did not understand what I was saying. Anon spoke of IMPD's rights yet I have none? I can't speak my mind? And Blake10, again you mis spoke. I was a wagon driver, I didn't have access to any office computers. And to the 11:11 post, I'm stupid? How about I was so angry that I wanted people to know who I am. I'm not angry anymore, I'm glad people are talking about this. This is the most consolidated the police Dept has ever been. I simply want the most out of our taxes and buying Lincoln Marauders doesn't quite equal smart purchasing. It is about freedom of speech for me. You guys are excercising it now, my brother is on his way to Iraq to protect thier freedoms. Yet some of you say I Don't have them here in the USA.

Anonymous said...

Wow. Rick Skirvin is one confused dude.

No one said you didn't have rights, Rick.

But when you became a reserve officer, you were required to adhere to certain rules.

You broke one of those rules.

Did you not understand the rules when you signed on? Did the rules change while you were a reserve?

Employers, particularly in law enforcement, have every right to enact and enforce strict rules.

Don't like it? Volunteer somewhere else.

That said, I agree with your personal views in some of these matters. But that is not the point.

You now have all the freedom you need to say anything you want.

Enjoy it.

Oh yeah, your brother is NOT going to Iraq to defend any American's freedom. He's a pawn in a war prosecuted by ridiculously simplistic leaders who think we're birdbrains.

Your brother has my admiration and thanks. But let's not mix things up here. His mission is undefined, getting riskier by the minute, and is being led by a madman. Who thbinks Iraq bombed the World Trade Center.

How do you argue with logic like that?

Anonymous said...

Well said 7:58!