William Krider, a rehabilitation instructor who worked with offenders at the Kentucky Department of Juvenile Justice, was fired today over racist and violent postings on his public Facebook page, which Insider Louisville first reported on last month.
Late last year, Krider made a series of inflammatory and violent comments on Facebook directed at Michael Brown and Eric Garner — two African-American males killed by police officers — as well as those who mourned their deaths and protested the lack of indictments for any officers. Kentucky Justice & Public Safety Cabinet Secretary J. Michael Brown told IL that Krider’s comments were “abhorrent and inflammatory,” adding that “the bigotry and flippant attitude toward violence and the use of deadly force is alarming and personally offensive.”
The cabinet immediately launched an investigation into Krider’s social media postings to see whether he made any of the comments using state property while at work, as well as whether his comments violated the department’s code of ethics and conduct for employees.
The termination letter delivered today reveals that Krider was given a notice of intent to dismiss on Jan. 21, and that Krider defended himself at a pre-termination hearing on Monday, in which he admitted to making the comments. The letter, written by Department of Juvenile Justice Commissioner Bob Hayter, says Krider was dismissed due to poor work performance and misconduct — as several of his most inflammatory comments were made at work, and they violated numerous employee conduct rules.
“Some of your comments on public social media compromise your credibility and call into question your objectivity as it relates to your role in working with adjudicated delinquent youth of diverse racial and socioeconomic backgrounds,” wrote Hayter. “Using derogatory language with racial tones compromises the professional and treatment objectives which the Department of Juvenile Justice stands for.”
After listing some of Krider’s worst comments, Hayter added that they “serve to undermine public trust in your objectivity in working with delinquent youth who are confined in a staff residential facility for offenses which you stated, ‘find them in your homes and shoot to kill.’ The content of the public social media posts reflects a lack of respect for human beings, a lack of commitment to professional service to our youth, and reflects offensive unprofessional conduct which does not reflect a positive role model or image of a professional working with the Department of Juvenile Justice.”
While noting that “public employees have the right to speak as private citizens on matters of public concern,” Hayter added “that right must be weighed against the government’s legitimate interest in maintaining an effective workforce.”
Krider — who provided vocational training for juvenile offenders, the majority of which were non-white — now has 60 days to appeal his firing to the Personnel Board, if he so chooses.
The full dismissal letter can be read below: