Hyattsville, MD – An assistant public defender in the Maryland Office of the Public Defender is under investigation for her anti-police social media post.
In October, Clare Carlson, who has worked for the state’s public defender’s office for almost two years, posted a picture of a piece of embroidery featuring the words “F**k the Police” on her personal Facebook page.
Paul DeWolfe, the Public Defender of Maryland, said his office is investigating.
“We have a social media policy, and this posting definitely violated our policy,” DeWolfe told Blue Lives Matter.
“We obviously don’t support the sentiment,” he said.
However, DeWolfe said he couldn’t go into any detail or comment further “because there is an ongoing investigation.”
Carlson posted the offensive handmade piece of stitchery, framed in an embroidery hoop, on her Facebook page with the comment “Ahhhhhhhh the BEST gift from the BEST friend.”
Her Facebook page clearly lists her job title and identifies her employer.
The friend she tagged to thank in her Facebook post –
Hoynacki and Carlson attended University of Wisconsin (UW) Law School together.
The anti-police post stirred up a hornet’s nest of angry police officers who regularly deal with Carlson in the Hyattsville courthouse.
Several Prince George’s County Police Department officers said they had contacted the Maryland State’s Attorney’s office to complain.
But a spokesman for that office said that they would only get involved if it were a criminal investigation.
“I think some people in our office may have seen it,” Maryland State’s Attorney’s Office Communications Director John Erzen said. “We certainly don’t condone that type of post. That’s certainly not a belief that our office shares.”
Carlson’s post may not constitute a crime in the state of Maryland, but it’s a violation of the public defender’s office’s social media policy.
The Office of the Public Defender’s (OPD) communications policy has very specific guidelines on “personal social media use.”
Carlson may have violated six out of the nine tenets of the office’s social media policy with her “F**k the Police” picture on Facebook.
- Inappropriate posting that may include discriminatory remarks, harassment, and threats of violence or similar inappropriate or unlawful conduct will not be tolerated.
- The Office of the Public Defender expects their employees to observe a standard of conduct that will not reflect discredit on the abilities or integrity of their employees, or create suspicion in reference to their employees’ capability in performing their duties and responsibilities.
- Any conduct that adversely affects job performance, OPD clients, staff, others working on behalf of the OPD or OPD’s legitimate interests may result in disciplinary action up to and including termination.
- Please do not post or link to any materials that are defamatory, harassing, or indecent that may reflect badly on the OPD.
- Derogatory or confidential comments about a case, client, colleagues, or any other member of the legal community or judiciary (please see [Maryland Rules of Professional Conduct]( …).
- Personal blogs, online usernames, and social media sites should not contain OPD’s name, logo, or URL.
How do you think the Maryland Public Defender’s office should handle this? We’d like to hear from you. Please let us know in the comments.