Offensive Facebook Posts Cost Wisconsin Warden His Job
Schneiter posted two memes on Facebook last July, which were reported in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. One compared a Muslim woman and child, both in black burkas, to bags of trash. The other equated the flying of the gay pride rainbow flag with the flying of the Confederate flag. After the newspaper story was published, Lt. Gov. Mandela Barnes tweeted that Schneiter should not have compared Muslims to garbage and that he was the one who had “to be taken out.”
Schneiter, represented by attorney Nate Cade, said the Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation did not establish just cause to fire him. Its investigation into the incident was not thorough, objective or fair, he said, and the postings did not represent his personal views. He claimed he was simply stimulating discussion and debate on the topics. He pointed to his posting of the gay pride flag at the Kenosha Correctional Center in response to Governor Tony Ever’s declaration of June as Pride Month as evidence in support of his claim.
He said Barnes’ comments amounted to a premature conclusion that he be fired and prejudiced his case. “As the second-highest ranking government official in Wisconsin it is not unreasonable to believe that his comments influenced the investigators and decision-makers to a point that his comment became prophecy fulfilled,” he claimed.
Schneiter lost an appeal filed last December to the Wisconsin Employment Relations Commission. He filed a second appeal in January 2020. If he loses, he still has the option of pursuing the case in the state’s court system.