Mayor considers whether firefighter violated policy

Firefighter in controversy has excellent record

Published On: Apr 17 2012 06:25:16 PM EDT   Updated On: Apr 18 2012 11:16:38 AM EDT
MIAMI -

County Mayor Carlos Gimenez said it's still unclear if the firefighter who wrote a controversial post on his personal Facebook page violated any county policy. 

At Tuesday’s county commission meeting, Commissioner Dennis Moss made a public call for action against fire rescue Capt. Brian Beckmann for his recent rant related to the Trayvon Martin case. 

Beckmann posted the rant on his Facebook page on the day the second-degree murder charge against George Zimmerman, 28, in the killing of Martin was announced.

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"I and my co-workers could rewrite the book on whether our urban youths are victims of racist profiling or products of their failed,(expletive), ignorant, pathetic, welfare dependent excuses for parents," the post read.

"I just want to say for the record that those comments, if they're true, I found those comments to be out of bounds, and I hope that issue is going to be addressed going forward," Moss said. 

Moss was speaking directly to Gimenez, who will decide what, if any, consequences Beckmann should receive for making public his private thoughts about the parents of urban youth. 

"His comments were deplorable," Gimenez told Local 10. "Is there a policy on the books that says anything that can bring ill will or ill repute to the organization, on duty or off? Is that something you can face discipline for?" 

Lohse obtained Beckmann's 160-page personnel record documenting his 15-year career with the county and didn't find much to report. It showed Beckmann was late for work once in 2001, and in 2010 he was counseled for using a work computer to answer a personal email. 

Overall, though, the record shows Beckmann to be an excellent fireman and competent leader. In 2006, a Miami woman commended him for stopping his fire truck to help an elderly woman cross the street. In 2010, a woman in Homestead wrote a letter to department administrators thanking Beckmann's crew for their competency and concern for her sick son. 

Beckmann also scored "Above Satisfactory" or "Outstanding" on all of his annual reviews. Last year, supervisors wrote that Beckmann "works on a busy rescue in a difficult area," and that he "works well with the public, his peers and subordinates." 

Gimenez said Beckmann's employment history will be considered as he considers if the captain spoke out of line.  

Beckmann is due back to work Thursday, but it's unclear if he will report to his fire station for regular duty or be reassigned to a desk job temporarily pending the outcome of the investigation.