CHARLOTTE COUNTY, Fla. — Charlotte County Sheriff’s Office fired Rachael Yerger for calling a Facebook friend derogatory names.
The CCSO internal affairs investigation reveals Yerger claims calling Rllan Wood “ignorant” and “black” was her best response to his message about a public recording.
Wood said he was trying to educate Yerger, in a message he sent on January 20th. He said as a public employee you waive your expectations of privacy.
He was referring to a video of Yerger he saw on YouTube, where she’s telling someone to stop recording her at a sheriff’s office, directing him to their policy.
But, Wood told her federal law overrides that.
She responded “you are ignorant” ”I’m saying you’re ignorant.” “And black.”
Wood said her replies shocked him.
“I would’ve never assumed that she would ever say something like that especially not directly to me,” he said.
He lives in Texas now, but went to Charlotte High School with Yerger and said he never thought of her as a racist person until now.
“There are a lot more openly racist people today than there were when I was in high school,” he said.
According to the report, Yerger told investigators she’s not racist. But, Wood said he’s not buying it based on her choice of words
“And the way they’re broken down, implies what she’s really getting at, which is using a derogatory term such as the “N” word,” he said.
Former police chief and private investigator Walt Zalisko said even though Yerger’s comments were made while she was off duty, the sheriff’s office handled the situation appropriately.
“There is nothing that is private anymore. Police officers, clerical workers in law enforcement agencies, they are subject to review of their social media,” he said. “And anything that is derogatory on there, can be cause for disciplinary action, and or. termination.”
CCSO said they decided to terminate Yerger, because her actions go against their core values, and reflect negatively on her. Her last day with the department was February 7th.