Demotion over Obama Facebook photo for Peoria policeman Pat Shearer upheld

PHOENIX - An independent hearing officer has upheld the demotion and suspension of a Peoria police sergeant who was disciplined for posting a photo of a bullet-riddled image of President Barack Obama on Facebook.

The Arizona Republic reports that Pat Shearer said he regretted his action and agreed that discipline was warranted, but he called a demotion to the rank of officer excessive.

Hearing officer Cecil Patterson Jr. said Shearer knew about the department's social-media policy and intentionally violated it to the discredit of the city.

The policy prohibits officers from using the agency's name, logo or any other identifying symbols online unless they get prior authorization for posts related to work.

Patterson's recommendation to uphold Shearer's discipline will go before a city personnel board for the final decision.

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