A Facebook post shared by a Springfield firefighter that the city says led to his firing contained a racial slur, and mocked school dropouts and McDonald’s employees.
Bradley Baugh was fired on March 9 after only a few weeks with the Springfield Fire/Rescue Division, according to city records obtained by the Springfield News-Sun through a public records request.
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He had worked for the city of Springfield in street maintenance since 2007 and is a lieutenant at the German Twp. Fire and EMS Department, according to his application he filed for the firefighter job last summer.
The Facebook post was the reason for his termination, according to a letter dated March 12 in his city personnel file.
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Baugh couldn’t be reached for comment. A phone number listed in his name has been disconnected, his social media account appears to have been deleted and contact information in the personnel file was redacted.
The Springfield News-Sun called references on his application and either left messages or they declined to comment.
A screen shot of the post obtained through a public records request from the Springfield fire division appears to show Baugh shared a meme on March 3 that uses a racial slur, saying they “dropout of school & get a job at McDonald’s talking bout ‘On My Grind’ Yeah, okay, GRIND me up a Oreo Mcflurry with yo (expletive).”
The termination letter sent to Baugh from Springfield City Manager Jim Bodenmiller says the post was insensitive.
“The racially insensitive post that you shared in a public forum undermines the integrity and values of the city of Springfield and the fire/rescue division, and directly impact our ability to effectively serve the community,” he said.
Baugh has been placed on paid administrative leave by German Twp., its Fire Chief Tim Holman said, due to the post.
“We will have a full investigation and then act appropriately,” Holman said.
The investigation might last several weeks, he said, and declined further comment.
Springfield Fire Chief Brian Miller declined to talk about the post or Baugh on Thursday. Previously he said the fire division took quick action to terminate Baugh.
“We need public support and public trust to do our job,” Miller said previously. “When we have somebody who interferes with those things and interrupts our mission and our ability to effectively conduct business we have to act.”
The Springfield NAACP credited the fire division for addressing the situation quickly.
The newspaper also obtained Baugh’s personnel record from the city of Springfield through a public records request.
Baugh had positive personnel reviews during his time with the city of Springfield.
“Employee has good knowledge of street operations,” an evaluation says.
The evaluation says he was a good co-worker and wasn’t afraid to ask questions when he needed help.
He also had a disciplinary record with the city before he joined the fire division, the records show.
In 2009 while working for street maintenance, his file says he was caught sleeping in his car when he was supposed to be collecting litter along U.S. 40. He was given a reprimand for neglect of duty.
He was also cited in 2010 for false request/claim of sick leave, according to the records, and suspended for one day. The city also required him to get a doctor’s note for future sick leave.
Baugh was cited again for sleeping on the job in 2012 and was suspended for five days, according to the personnel records.
Many factors are taken into account when hiring people into the fire and rescue division, Bodenmiller said.
“Mr. Baugh faced some progressive discipline early in his career and this was considered, however, during the last five to six years, he had shown considerable growth and improvement,” Bodenmiller said.
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