(ORLANDO, Fla.) — The Florida assistant state attorney who was suspended last Friday after writing a Facebook post that denigrated the city of Orlando following the Pulse nightclub terror attack has been fired, the state attorney’s office announced Thursday.
“Downtown Orlando has no bottom,” assistant state attorney Kenneth Lewis wrote on his Facebook page June 12 — less than 24 hours after the tragedy — according to ABC Orlando affiliate WFTV. “The entire city should be leveled. It is void of any redeeming quality…It is void of culture. If you live down there you do it at your own risk and at your own peril.” The post continued to paint Orlando and its residents in a negative light.
At the time of his suspension, a spokeswoman for the State Attorney’s Office, Angela Starke, said Lewis’ post violated its social media policy. The spokeswomen said then, “Mr. Lewis violated the SAO9 social media policy. The social media policy was adopted and implemented on February 20, 2015, as part of SAO9’s code of conduct. Every employee is required to sign the policy. Failure to comply can result in discipline up to and including termination.”
And that’s exactly what happened: A letter written Thursday by state attorney Jeffrey L. Ashton announced Lewis’ termination.
Ashton wrote, “Whether you intended to convey that all those who attend nightclubs are animals (the zoo reference) or whether the reference to ‘debauchery’ was meant to express some objection to the lifestyle choices of those who attended this club, we will never know. I cannot believe that a man of your intelligence would not realize that your comment could bear that interpretation.”
Ashton continued, “I can no longer defend you as a prosecutor free of bias. Therefore the recommendation of termination is also upheld. You shall remain on suspension until June 30, 2016 at which time your employment with this office will be terminated.”
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