Lubbock Co. administrator reinstated after social media controversy

Lubbock Co. administrator reinstated after social media controversy

Lubbock County's Emergency Management Coordinator Clinton Thetford is back on the job and most likely more social media savvy. 

"What we primarily looked at was with regard to his professional code of conduct as that relates in particular to our social media policy. There are specific guidelines set forth that require every employee to conduct themselves in a manner both professionally and personally that doesn't bring discredit upon the profession, this agency or Lubbock County as a whole," Sheriff Kelly Rowe said. 

Sharing a cartoon on his personal Facebook page put Clinton Thetford, Lubbock County's Emergency Management Coordinator, on administrative leave for a few days. The depiction could have been taken as a threat against the president.    

Sheriff Rowe said Thetford faced significant and appropriate disciplinary actions for the violation and has since been reinstated. 

The investigation involved secret service agents who were called on to confirm that no federal laws were violated by the social media faux pas. 

"We wanted to take an additional step given the nature of the cartoon graphic itself and what it was portraying within the cartoon to allow secret service to review and confirm with us whether or not there were any potential issues, risks, or more importantly any violations of the law," Rowe said. "They confirmed after interviewing him none of those criteria had been met and didn't see any further action needing to take place."

Despite being on a personal Facebook page social media expert, and coordinator of digital engagement at Texas Tech, Allison Matherly said anyone and everyone can have eyes on what you're posting. 

"We really have to remember that everybody is looking at what you're posting. This could apply to government officials but really anyone. You could be friends with your boss on Facebook or other people that you do business with," warned Matherly. 

Consequences can be widespread according to Matherly. 

"You need to think about the implications of what you're posting. You're not just representing yourselves when you're in a position like that you're also representing the county and our city as well," Matherly added. 

Matherly encourages you not to use Facebook as an outlet. 

"You really want to make sure you're not posting something when you're upset or you're angry. Sometimes it's just better to talk things out with a friend rather than posting it where everyone can see it," Matherly advised. 

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