Nelsonville City Council said they want answers in an ongoing investigation concerning Nelsonville Police Officer Joshua Braglin for a racially charged post he made on social media.
Braglin posted a meme on his Facebook page of Hocking College Interim Police Chief Tiffany Tims sitting in her car with the text “Acting Chief Timm (sic)… Chicken and Waffles baby.”
This isn’t the first controversial post Braglin has made. The investigation is also looking into another explicit post he made in November 2017.
The posts have city officials calling for Braglin’s termination.
“We were given a full stack of screen shots of things that had happened. Quite frankly worse than what we imagined,” said council member Taylor Sappington.
Sappington is one of the six Nelsonville City Council members that signed a letter explaining why they have called on city administration to fire Braglin. Only one of the councilmembers did not sign the letter.
“When you serve the public, nothing in what I saw was acceptable,” said Sappington.
The investigation and disciplinary measures may take longer than some are comfortable with.
“Employees have rights. They are covered by visual service. You can’t just terminate someone without due process,” said City Manger Chuck Barga.
Barga has since hired outside council to help the city move forward with disciplinary action.
“[We’re] basically trying to avoid a lawsuit down the road. [We have to show] that we have followed all the steps correctly so that there would be no grounds to come back with a lawsuit for wrongful termination,” said Barga.
Braglin made an additional post, along with others, criticizing the Hocking College President Betty Young and the college’s interim chief for not assisting the Nelsonville Police Department during an emergency call.
Sappington said the city council has questions that are going unanswered. If city administrators were aware of this behavior, why wasn’t the city council made aware of this until January 2018?
Braglin, who has been with the department since 2007, has been placed under unpaid administrative leave.