Employee Fired After Posting Pictures Of DHS Vehicles Parked In Hotel Parking Lot

from the no-expectation-of-privacy...-or-security dept

What happens in public isn't afforded an expectation of privacy -- unless you're the Department of Homeland Security. The DHS is all about shutting down people taking photos in, around or of public structures. According to the many piles of useless paperwork compiled by the many useless Fusion Centers, the most effective terrorist weapon is any device that captures still images or video.

The nation is loaded with phone-wielding terrorists. But thanks to the swift corrective action applied by a former Secret Service agent and the multi-billion dollar agency, guests at the Drury Park Plaza Hotel in Chesterfield, Missouri, are safe from the terrorist activity of 28-year-old US Navy veteran (and now, former hotel Houseman) Mark Paffrath.

Mark says that on Thursday after work he snapped 2 photographs and a short video of several dozen Homeland Security vehicles in the parking garage. He then uploaded them to his Facebook page. In his post he writes "why are all the cop cars here...I wonder if it has anything to do with Ferguson", he also included the hashtags #Ferguson #NoJusticeNoPeace.
Hooray for the First Amendment! … oh, wait.
On Friday, shortly after arriving to work at the Drury Plaza Hotel, Mark stated that he was called to the office of Jeff Baker, the General Manager. Upon arriving Mr. Baker advised Mark that he needed to remove the photos and video from Facebook. Mark immediately complied and removed the post. Mark then continued and finished his shift.
A private company decides to insert itself into a situation where no one -- not even the DHS -- needed to step in. Having achieved its goal of suppression, one would think the story ends here. But it doesn't.
Saturday, Mark stated after being at work no more than 30 minutes, he was again called to the General Manager's office. Waiting for him was Jim Bohnert, Director of Security for Drury Hotels Company, LLC. Mark told ASN that Mr. Bohnert advised him that his Facebook posts almost cost the company a $150,000 contract with the Department of Homeland Security and because of this he was being terminated.
Jim Bohnert -- formerly of the Secret Service and the St. Louis Police Department -- had more to say on the matter. He called the former military member a "terrorist" and told him he had "dishonorably served his country" by posting pictures of vehicles parked in a garage where any guest or employee of the hotel could have seen them. In fact, any member of the public could have seen them simply by entering the garage, which is not secured. Argus Streaming News writers were able to see "over 100" DHS vehicles in the garage while driving through it on their way to speak to the hotel's manager.

Bohnert also threatened Paffrath with arrest if the photos were reposted (presumably by someone with more power than Director of Security for Drury Hotels, Bohnert's current position).

Now, it's quite obvious the DHS was unhappy that someone gave away their super-secret hideout, one that is a) a structure accessible by the public and b) littered with dozens of vehicles clearly marked as belonging to the DHS. If secrecy is what the DHS agents were looking for, maybe they should have arranged for a fleet of less clearly-marked vehicles. You can't -- at least not logically -- roll up in a DHS convoy and then demand that no one acknowledge this fact or speak about it to the outside world.

Apparently, hotel management thought this was a containable circumstance. A message written to hotel employees by a supervisor notes several things, the first of which is the open acknowledgement that employees are going to want to talk about a hotel full of DHS agents.
Mark told ASN that there is a large whiteboard which the hotel management writes notices to employees and on Friday, after he was told to remove the Facebook post the Front End Manager wrote a message that reads "The Department of Homeland Security Group: Confidential in nature, which means brag to your family about it after they check out".
Why the DHS's stay would be "confidential in nature" is beyond me. Despite having the word "security" in its title, it's not an agency that's always "entitled" to secrecy -- and certainly not when it announces its presence with over 100 official DHS vehicles. The DHS does perform undercover investigations (see also: The Great Kansas City Panty Raid of '14), but a massive presence isn't likely associated with an undercover investigation.

The hotel may have had the right to fire the employee for violating guest confidentiality by posting photos of the parking garage, but even that argument is tough to make. Private companies are not government entities and business policies aren't federal law, but in defense of license plate readers, law enforcement agencies have long held that vehicles are not personally identifiable -- i.e., a license plate identifies the vehicle, not the driver. So, a parking lot full of vehicles -- especially government-issued vehicles -- identifies nothing other than the agency present. In any event, nothing noted here seems to have anything to do with company policies (Bohnert mentioned no violated policies in his dismissal of Paffrath) and everything to do with soothing the frayed nerves of the DHS.

Likewise, privacy is not security, but a parking lot crammed with easily-identifiable government vehicles isn't anyone's notion of "secure." Paffrath's posting didn't destroy the DHS's nonexistent security but it did apparently irritate the hotel's head of security, who then called for the ceremonial sacrifice of an employee on the altar of Homeland Security.


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  • icon
    That One Guy (profile), 24 Nov 2014 @ 3:10am

    Government hypocrisy strikes again

    They're always going on and on about how harmless spying is, how there's nothing to be concerned about regarding cameras tracking plates, and mass surveillance scooping up all the data they can get their hands on. How 'If you haven't done anything wrong, you have nothing to hide', and yet just try and take a picture or video of them...

    Either hypocrisy at it's finest, and/or they know damn well that they have plenty to hide from the public they pretend to serve.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 24 Nov 2014 @ 12:00pm

      Re: Government hypocrisy strikes again

      This guy should have told his boss and the gubmint thugs that he was ONLY collecting METADATA.

      The details of their presence and any other identifying information was not actually collected nor disseminated!

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    S. T. Stone (profile), 24 Nov 2014 @ 4:06am

    I’d say he has a good chance of winning a lawsuit, but even I don’t think he’d ever make it to court.

    One way or another.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      PRMan, 24 Nov 2014 @ 8:20am

      Doubtful

      If you work anywhere and virtually lose a large contract you can be fired for it. That's common and expected.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • icon
        jupiterkansas (profile), 24 Nov 2014 @ 9:07am

        Re: Doubtful

        Says here that they ALMOST lost the contract. I'd sue em.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • icon
          tqk (profile), 24 Nov 2014 @ 10:29am

          Re: Re: Doubtful

          Add to that, *how* did anything he did threaten the company with losing the contract? Did DHS complain, or is this just the head of security freaking out over nothing whatsoever at all?

          I hope he wins that lawsuit. That head of security ought to be in fear of losing his job. We do not have the right to pin our paranoid delusions on others.

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 24 Nov 2014 @ 12:15pm

        Re: Doubtful

        The instructions to employees that they not mention the DHS presence were not given until after Paffrath had posted (and subsequently removed as requested) the pics of DHS vehicles.
        Bohnert mentioned no violated policies in his dismissal of Paffrath
        Without a specific rule that forbade employees from ever taking any pictures in the parking garage, it is actually Bohnert's failure to instruct staff not to mention the DHS's presence that caused the "problem."

        If anyone should have been fired over this BS, it's Bohnert.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • icon
        art guerrilla (profile), 24 Nov 2014 @ 1:10pm

        Re: Doubtful

        no, if you work, you can be fired, PERIOD...
        there is NO RECOURSE, unless they do something totally stupid...

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 24 Nov 2014 @ 2:22pm

          Re: Re: Doubtful

          Which, I would argue, is exactly what they did.

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 24 Nov 2014 @ 2:31pm

          Re: Re: Doubtful

          According to my research, the position of "Houseman" is an hourly maintenance position. I don't know about Missouri labor laws, but, in most of the states I've lived in, an hourly employee cannot be fired without a very good reason. It would be instructive to see the firing document. If no reason is given, Paffrath has a very good case with the Missouri Labor Board, and an excellent civil case against the hotel. Anyone want to step up to represent him? Even at the normal 30%?

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

          • icon
            R.H. (profile), 24 Nov 2014 @ 8:55pm

            Re: Re: Re: Doubtful

            Unfortunately, Missouri is an 'at-will' state. Meaning that, unless your employment contract states otherwise, you can be fired without notice for no reason at all or for any reason not specifically declared as illegal discrimination under the law.

            reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Michael, 24 Nov 2014 @ 9:34am

      Re:

      Most employment in the US is considered at-will, so an employer can terminate your employment without notice for any reason (and you can quit and walk out the door).

      It is unlikely that the employer in this case had any kind of contractual obligation to continue his employment, so suing them is not likely to lead anywhere.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • icon
        tqk (profile), 24 Nov 2014 @ 11:04am

        Re: Re:

        "He called the former military member a "terrorist" and told him he had "dishonorably served his country" ..."

        I believe he's got a pretty damned good reason to win. This is slandering a veteran, accusing him of traitorous acts!

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 24 Nov 2014 @ 11:29am

          Re: Re: Re:

          With the hashtag "NoJusticeNoPeace" it sounds like the employee is suggesting a target for the "NoPeace" part. Any employer would take offense to a call for unrest on their premises, against their customers, by one of their employees.

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 24 Nov 2014 @ 4:10am

    When did they write the law that says only the government can take photographs in public places, or write the law that gives the security services that ability to make up the rules as they go?

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 24 Nov 2014 @ 4:11am

    Time to leverage the Streisand effect!

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 24 Nov 2014 @ 4:14am

    I hope this guy reposted those pictures and/or video.

    This just goes to show the ever-increasing divide between citizens and rulers.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Bob V (profile), 24 Nov 2014 @ 4:31am

    Maybe they wanted to make sure he understood the deeper meaning behind the hashtags.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Spaceman Spiff (profile), 24 Nov 2014 @ 4:42am

    Guess what?

    The Drury Park Plaza Hotel has lost another customer. We visit the St. Louis area fairly frequently for various music events and to visit friends. Guess what DPPH, we won't be staying with you in the future...

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      John85851 (profile), 24 Nov 2014 @ 7:21am

      Re: Guess what?

      That sounds like a good idea until you realize the effects of 1 person (or 2 or 10 people) not staying at the hotel won't mean a thing when weighed against a $150,000 government contract.
      And that assumes the guy and the story are accurate about that number: maybe it's more and maybe it's less.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    scotts13 (profile), 24 Nov 2014 @ 5:08am

    Please, someone -

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    scotts13 (profile), 24 Nov 2014 @ 5:09am

    Please, someone -

    Let's see a web page where everyone posts pictures of DHS vehicles they've spotted. Sort of like "Where's Waldo" for grown-ups.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 24 Nov 2014 @ 5:11am

    I have known more than one person that lost employment due to things posted on Facebook. Most companies have a policy in place regarding things posted on social sites. They all want you to LIKE them (how lame is that), but the devil may cry if you post anything negative regarding them. Sounds like someone at DHS had a bad morning and their dog isn't there to kick around anymore. I feel for you Mr. Paffrath, this ain't the America we fought for, but we will continue acting as if it is. And please be careful with that cell phone, you should probably deep 6 it, they are nothing but trouble too.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 24 Nov 2014 @ 5:20am

      Re:

      See how you assume that having a link to DHS (even with them as customers) is considered something 'negative'?

      How's that for a bad reputation...

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 24 Nov 2014 @ 5:14am

    That hotel chain has a comment page that doesnt require name/address etc... Drop them a note.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 24 Nov 2014 @ 5:17am

    Mmm...I'm gonna have to disagree on this one. It's not that anything illegal was done, and any threats of that nature are just puffery, but if you're working in the service industry, you should know that discreetness is valued. There is something in between "top secret" and "publicly advertised" that is valued by guests of various establishments like this - DHS or otherwise. Just as it would be tacky and wrong for a employee to take and post pictures of a celebrity staying in their hotel, I thing what this employee did was wrong - from a business standpoint. I can understand him being let go. I personally wouldn't stay at any hotel where an employee posted pictures of *my* car in the lot. Would you?

    If "soothing the frayed nerves of the DHS" means $150,000 in revenue next time, I'd say that's a worthy business concern.

    As for the threat of arrest, fuck that noise.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Rikuo (profile), 24 Nov 2014 @ 5:31am

      Re:

      "Just as it would be tacky and wrong for a employee to take and post pictures of a celebrity staying in their hotel,"

      Your analogy fails because the employee in this article did not do anything to identify the PERSONS who drove the vehicles. He merely took a photo of a lot of DHS cars. For your analogy to work, he would have to have taken a photo of an expensive looking car (or lots of expensive looking cars) without identifying who owns them.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Rikuo (profile), 24 Nov 2014 @ 5:32am

      Re:

      Also note that the first bit of italics on this page state that he took the photos AFTER work. I'm extremely leery of businesses attempting to dictate what their employees can and cannot say while they're off the clock.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 24 Nov 2014 @ 6:26am

      Re:

      A parking lot full of DHS labeled cars isn't exactly shouting "we want to be discreet".

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        JEDIDIAH, 24 Nov 2014 @ 8:20am

        What happens at Motel 6 stays at Motel 6.

        It's still not the place of a hotel employee to snitch about the goings on in his hotel. They were right to fire him. Any other member of the public (including an actual journalist) is free to spread the word about this stuff.

        The hotel employee doesn't have to draw attention to himself.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • icon
          Josh in CharlotteNC (profile), 24 Nov 2014 @ 10:10am

          Re: What happens at Motel 6 stays at Motel 6.

          How many more people now know that the DHS stayed at that hotel *because he was fired*?

          Really, how many people were following this guy's facebook page? Couple dozen or so? And how many of them even saw his update (remember, facebook news feeds don't share every update with all your friends)?

          Yet, because the hotel fired the guy, tens of thousands or more know about it via Streisand effect.

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 24 Nov 2014 @ 12:37pm

          Re: What happens at Motel 6 stays at Motel 6.

          Gotta wonder if the hotel "snitched" on all of its other guests to the DHS, though. But that would just involve business records that aren't deserving of an expectation of privacy thanks to third party doctrine, I guess... vans with DHS signage sitting in an open-access parking garage, on the other hand, really shouldn't have their civil liberties violated.

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Beta (profile), 24 Nov 2014 @ 8:43am

      Re:

      If they had said "you're fired for being indiscreet about our guests", I'd agree with you.

      What they said was "you're fired because these people threatened to cancel a contract you knew nothing about, on the grounds that your innocuous action offended them, because they have a sense of privileged self-importance that would embarrass a six-year-old Chinese empress."

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 24 Nov 2014 @ 9:49am

      Fleet of Sports Cars

      I bet if the pictures had been of a garage full of sports cars the hotel wouldn't have complained.... Then it would have been "free advertising" - Look how cool we are, we have a garage full of sexy cars.... Instead what they really meant was "damn, now people know we cater to the likes of DHS... Take that pic down NOW or the street walkers will be next". ;)

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 24 Nov 2014 @ 5:20am

    Remember kids - If you see something, say something.
    ..... unless it is something about us, then STFU or we'll mess you up.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 24 Nov 2014 @ 5:32am

    ... his Facebook posts almost cost the company a $150,000 contract with the Department of Homeland Security ...


    So, if he posts something that alomst wins a multi-million contract, ("I like the NSA, all of them!") he will get a VP chair on the board?*


    (* remember folks, no proof of causality required)

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 24 Nov 2014 @ 5:54am

      Re:

      And the fact that a measly $150k contract is what was "threatened" I have to wonder about the financial stability of that franchise/location.

      Sure, the company has the right to fire him, but theres no criminal element or anything he could have neen threatened with incarceration of.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 24 Nov 2014 @ 6:10am

    The Emperor's New Cars

    "In fact, any member of the public could have seen them ..."

    DHS: What? You meant our new billion dollar magic invisibility cloak doesn't work and you can still see our cars? Well, now that you've told the terrorists we're going to have to go spent another billion dollars on a new one. See what you've done?

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      ltlw0lf (profile), 24 Nov 2014 @ 6:41am

      Re: The Emperor's New Cars

      You meant our new billion dollar magic invisibility cloak doesn't work and you can still see our cars?

      I suspect a far better solution for them would have been the $100 car cover that is available down at the auto-parts store, had they not been so cheap as to not buy them. Sure, people would have been suspicious of hundreds of cars in the parking lot covered by car covers, but very few would have looked underneath.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 24 Nov 2014 @ 6:28am

    I would have told them "that as your employee, you can tell me not to post those pictures, as your ex-employee however, I can and will do whatever the F*** I want."
    Seems to me if you want to keep that $150,000 contract, you better keep me employed.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 24 Nov 2014 @ 7:15am

      Re:

      >I would have told them "that as your employee, you can tell me not to post those pictures, as your ex-employee however, I can and will do whatever the F*** I want."
      >Seems to me if you want to keep that $150,000 contract, you better keep me employed.

      In a roundabout way, like People Who Need People, this is exactly what happened. Nobody would notice if the guy's firing did not make it newsworthy.

      His actual crime is failure to be sufficiently in awe of the majesty of the state. For that - "you're fired!"

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 24 Nov 2014 @ 6:49am

    i hope that someone reading this topic offers the guy free legal representation so he can take the fuckers to court!!

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Avatar28 (profile), 24 Nov 2014 @ 7:11am

    I'd probably be sitting my ass in jail right now

    Cause I'm pretty sure I would have raised a stink about it and I would have not only reposted them on Facebook (along with a scathing description of what went down), I probably would have put them up on Reddit and anywhere else they would have gotten attention too. Maybe even my local news channels.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Dr evil, 24 Nov 2014 @ 7:12am

    another possible solution

    Gov't fucktards - idea: don't LABEL the vehicles
    Drury fucktards - idea: deep breath and hold... holding... still holding... ready to hold.. holding... hold

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anon, 24 Nov 2014 @ 7:17am

      Re: another possible solution

      But if you didn't label them, people would not scatter like the wind in fear of their power as they roll down the street. Vehicles emblazoned with the logo are obviously to compensate for the fact they (inadequately) couldn't get even larger vehicles.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        David, 24 Nov 2014 @ 8:33am

        Re: Re: another possible solution

        Can't they, like, occasionally shoot random people? It works for the police to keep the peons in line and awe.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Baron von Robber, 24 Nov 2014 @ 7:13am

    He should have said his photos were no more a breaking of privacy nor secrecy than the metadata of our email.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    ECA (profile), 24 Nov 2014 @ 7:22am

    I just..

    I would like to know how many rooms were rented??

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Anonymous Coward, 24 Nov 2014 @ 8:42am

      Re: I just..

      For $150,000 that would be just two. The hospitality suite and the ballroom for their plenary sessions, as well as breakfast, lunch, and dinner along with several coffee breaks, one of which, while billed as a coffee break looks suspiciously like an open bar.

      The agents will just expense their rooms and get reimbursed by the end of the month.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    MacCruiskeen, 24 Nov 2014 @ 7:44am

    You say there's no expectation of privacy in a public space, and that's true, but you conflate 'public' with 'publicly accessible,' and that is not quite the same. Places like hotels and malls are publicly accessible spaces, but are still privately owned and often have fairly restrictive policies about photography on their property, whether it makes sense or not. Many have been hassled for little more than having a camera out in the 'wrong' place. This is, of course, one of the dangers of the push to privatize otherwise actually public spaces--streets, parks, and so on. The owner of the space will have greater leeway in restricting your actions while a 'guest' in a place where you used to be a 'citizen.' While the hotel management was being stupid (itself not really surprising), it helps to pay attention to the details of the situation.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Josh in CharlotteNC (profile), 24 Nov 2014 @ 10:22am

      Re:

      You're conflating a company's policy with the law. Regular TD readers are aware of the hassling that ordinary citizens regularly are subject to for taking pictures.

      The details of the situation are thus:
      1) guy posted photo take in public, unsecured area of a bunch of obviously marked cars
      2) Either the hotel's management lied to their employee about endangering the contract, or somehow the DHS became aware of this random citizen's facebook page.
      3)Instead of acting like adults, either the hotel management or DHS completely overreacted and got this guy fired.
      4) Because of #3, many many more people now know these details.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Rikuo (profile), 24 Nov 2014 @ 11:10am

      Re:

      False. The car park of that hotel is publicly accessible. Any person wishing to stay there is free to first park in it before getting a room. Even if one is not actually getting a room, they can still go there and see all the other cars - how is the hotel supposed to know that you aren't actually getting a room when you first park?

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Personanongrata, 24 Nov 2014 @ 8:07am

    Who Needs KGB When You Have DHS

    Jim Bohnert, Director of Security for Drury Hotels Company, LLC is a fraction of an American.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 24 Nov 2014 @ 8:32am

    DHS meet the Streisand effect

    Thanks to the intelligent people at the DHS, not only were the original photos and tweet removed from twitter, but CNN then picked up the story, pictures and video, then broadcast them.

    When your goal is to suppress information, and your result is the best case scenario that any PR firm would want, isn't that the intelligence equivalent of not being able to hit the broadside of a barn, at point blank range?

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 1 Dec 2014 @ 12:10pm

      Re: DHS meet the Streisand effect

      No, it is shooting yourself in the crotch when firing at the broadside of a barn at point blank range.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 24 Nov 2014 @ 8:48am

    Professional?

    Mark told ASN that there is a large whiteboard which the hotel management writes notices to employees and on Friday, after he was told to remove the Facebook post the Front End Manager wrote a message that reads "The Department of Homeland Security Group: Confidential in nature, which means brag to your family about it after they check out".

    All other concerns aside, this manager sounds like a complete ass. If the hotel is concerned about unprofessional behavior from employees, it might start by looking at its supervisory staff, who are meant to set an example.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 24 Nov 2014 @ 9:00am

    I hope he takes legal action and gets compensated for this injustice.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 24 Nov 2014 @ 9:03am

    I didn't know I'm entitled to so much privacy at hotels. The next time hotel staff asks me for my drivers license, license plate number, and signature. I'll kindly decline all three requests on privacy grounds.

    The truth is there are hotel laws that require guests to submit all these proofs of identification. So I don't understand why DHS is crying about hotel laws. They're the ones who lobbied for the laws!

    Unless of course this is another example where the law doesn't apply to DHS, because they consider themselves above the law.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 24 Nov 2014 @ 9:57am

    I agree with firing him. He took photos on his employers property and posted them. That cost the hotel money.
    even if it hadnt he was an employee on his employers property. If his time in the navy had not taught him discretion....

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 24 Nov 2014 @ 10:42am

    He didn't use his head - and an unsurprising result occurred (doesn't make it "right" but anyone using their head would have seen it coming).

    If he was using his head, he'd have anonymously tipped off one of the news organizations in town; and they would (may have) come and taken some footage for the nightly news).

    Or.. any number of other ways to have done this - but using his head. Which he didn't...

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 24 Nov 2014 @ 10:50am

    This is a bogus article. Yes, everything in it is true, but is there any mention that anyone at DHS or any member of the government contacted or even cared about this guys post?

    The article likes to make DHS the bad guy, but really, there is absolutely no mention or hint that the govt. was behind this guys firing.

    Get that information or even bogusly insinuate that someone from DHS was involved and fine, then blame them.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      nasch (profile), 24 Nov 2014 @ 6:57pm

      Re:

      Yes, everything in it is true, but is there any mention that anyone at DHS or any member of the government contacted or even cared about this guys post?

      Is there some other reason the DHS contract with the hotel would have been threatened by this guy's photos?

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Mano John, 24 Nov 2014 @ 10:58am

    Dont think the govt was involved here..

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Mason Wheeler (profile), 24 Nov 2014 @ 11:22am

    Was it really about the photos?

    If I was an employer, and I saw one of my employees post "No Justice No Peace" online, particularly in connection with a volatile situation very close by in which there has already been widespread rioting, it's not much of a leap of logic to imagine that this employee is making a threat: "there will be No Peace as long as there is No Justice (by my definition of justice, of course, which means 'getting what I want'.)"

    I'd have fired him over that too, with or without the DHS getting involved. Considering the circumstances, it's not the least bit unrealistic to consider that "making terroristic threats."

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 24 Nov 2014 @ 1:04pm

      Re:

      Considering the circumstances, it's not the least bit unrealistic to consider that "making terroristic threats."

      ^^^^ This ^^^^

      This right here, ladies and gentlemen, is what has become of the "land of the free, home of the brave" - a bunch of chicken littles ready to piss all over their "Constitution" because ZOMG!

      You should really be ashamed of yourself.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 24 Nov 2014 @ 1:10pm

      Re:

      So you would have fired him regardless of the DHS pictures, because of his personal opinions regarding a socio-political issue?

      (BTW, most people interpret the "No Peace" part of the tag/slogan as "More Protests." The minority that like to believe it means "Kill Whitey" tend to be... not worth further comment.)

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      tqk (profile), 24 Nov 2014 @ 1:29pm

      Re:

      If I was an employer and I saw one of my employees pissing off my paying customers, those who pay me money which then pays his salary, I'd fire him too, for having foolishly bad judgement. That's just business.

      I would not double down and accuse a military veteran of traitorous acts! That is slander, and the one who did that should be looking for another job after they lose the inevitable lawsuit they set themselves up for. That's far worse than merely having bad judgement. That was a vile, unprovoked attack by a criminally stupid fool who doesn't deserve to be in a position of authority.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 24 Nov 2014 @ 1:41pm

        Re: Re:

        However, these "paying customers" are public employees.

        Is he not recording public employees while on (presumably) public business?

        If not, then why are they using vehicles clearly marked "DHS?"

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      nasch (profile), 24 Nov 2014 @ 6:59pm

      Re:

      I'd have fired him over that too, with or without the DHS getting involved.

      It seems from the story that they didn't fire him because of the content of his communications, but because of their effects: "Mark told ASN that Mr. Bohnert advised him that his Facebook posts almost cost the company a $150,000 contract with the Department of Homeland Security and because of this he was being terminated." This implies that if it hadn't been for the contract issue, they wouldn't have fired him.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 24 Nov 2014 @ 12:42pm

    Jim Bohnert, Director of Security for Drury Hotels Company, LLC. Mark told ASN that Mr. Bohnert advised him that his Facebook posts almost cost the company a $150,000 contract with the Department of Homeland Security and because of this he was being terminated.


    It looks to me that Jim Bohnert dropped the ball here and didn't provide adequate security for the DHS vehicles.

    security
    freedom from danger, risk, etc.; safety.
    2.
    freedom from care, anxiety, or doubt; well-founded confidence.
    3.
    something that secures or makes safe; protection; defense.

    sorry Jim 3 strikes and you're out.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      tqk (profile), 24 Nov 2014 @ 3:16pm

      Re:

      4.
      Accusing a military veteran of traitorous acts.

      Hang him.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • icon
        Mason Wheeler (profile), 24 Nov 2014 @ 5:14pm

        Re: Re:

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • icon
          tqk (profile), 24 Nov 2014 @ 7:23pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          Timothy McVeigh was guilty of mass murder of innocent civilians, including a daycare center's inhabitants. Go ahead. Try to conflate that with this guy's actions, I dare you.

          This guy is not Timothy McVeigh. Holy crap, man.

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

          • icon
            Mason Wheeler (profile), 25 Nov 2014 @ 10:11am

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            And before that, he served in the military. He was the first example that came to mind. He's hardly the only example I could name. Military service does not automatically make someone some sort of paragon whose honor is beyond question, and it's a bit silly of you to imply that it does.

            reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

            • icon
              tqk (profile), 25 Nov 2014 @ 11:51am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              Military service does not automatically make someone some sort of paragon whose honor is beyond question ...

              If he was honorably discharged, I believe it is, but he'll lose that pretty fast once he starts blowing up daycare centers. Dishonorable things do happen in war and we expect them to refuse to carry out such orders when they see them, but that's not always possible. The one doing the ordering should be taking the blame, not the lowly grunt on the line.

              reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • icon
        nasch (profile), 24 Nov 2014 @ 7:01pm

        Re: Re:

        4.
        Accusing a military veteran of traitorous acts.

        Hang him.


        You want to execute someone for their speech about a person whose former job was defending the constitution? The irony is rich.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • icon
          tqk (profile), 24 Nov 2014 @ 7:42pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          You want to execute someone for their speech about a person whose former job was defending the constitution?

          Well, actually no. Do you approve of sending people off to fight foreign wars for you, then allow random citizens to interpret constitutional protections for them when they return?

          He did his duty for his country. That ought to count for something. This dipshit is accusing him of being a traitor to his country, after (in theory) putting his life on the line for it. How rude!

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

          • icon
            nasch (profile), 24 Nov 2014 @ 7:58pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            Do you approve of sending people off to fight foreign wars for you, then allow random citizens to interpret constitutional protections for them when they return?

            I'm not sure what you're asking. I wouldn't support random individuals being given the power to interpret the constitution that now resides with the courts, if that's what you mean. I definitely support allowing them to say what they want.

            reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Jim, 24 Nov 2014 @ 1:18pm

    Sorry.

    Got to go with the hotel on this one. He has no business posting pics of guests or their vehicles. I hate the DHS as much as the next person but this is an employee situation. Bet there is plenty in the employee handbook about guest privacy.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 24 Nov 2014 @ 1:39pm

      Re: Sorry.

      Since the vehicles were DHS vehicles (and apparently clearly marked), isn't he simply recording public officials in the execution of their public duty (while presumably using public-funded vehicles)?

      I mean, if they wanted to keep their presence quiet, then why oh why would they use vehicles clearly marked "DHS?"

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • icon
        tqk (profile), 24 Nov 2014 @ 4:12pm

        Re: Re: Sorry.

        Since the vehicles were DHS vehicles (and apparently clearly marked), isn't he simply recording public officials in the execution of their public duty ...

        Silly boy. This's "Tha porkers" being caught laying in enforcements in anticipation of the inevitable backlash from "Tha citizens" in overreaction to "Tha porkers" murdering an unarmed kid.

        Are you a terrorist or something?!?

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Tony (profile), 24 Nov 2014 @ 1:57pm

    Termination was ordered

    DHS informed the hotel that they would lose the contract unless they terminated his employment.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      tqk (profile), 24 Nov 2014 @ 4:36pm

      Re: Termination was ordered

      DHS informed the hotel that they would lose the contract unless they terminated his employment.

      Are you sure about that? I suspect you're assuming facts which are not in evidence. I think the chief of security just freaked out and let his fear (and personal tyrannical power lust over employees' actions) drive.

      Employment ought to be an equal to equal transaction. Many managers and employers don't believe so. They assume that you should be overjoyed to be their slave to whatever whims they may have since they're giving you a job.

      Hey, I'm selling you my expertise and labor in return for cash. Don't even begin to think there's any more to this than that. You DO NOT OWN ME. I'll be happy to leave now if that's not good enough for you. There's plenty of people out there who you're welcome to hire who will care a lot less about what you want than I would. Your choice! I don't have all day!

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • icon
        Tony (profile), 24 Nov 2014 @ 4:53pm

        Re: Re: Termination was ordered

        I probably should have been more clear - that information was an update added to one of the many news articles I was reading about this earlier today. Can't remember exactly where but it should be independently verifiable.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • icon
          tqk (profile), 24 Nov 2014 @ 7:13pm

          Re: Re: Re: Termination was ordered

          I probably should have been more clear - ...

          That happens to me a lot too. I try to fix the mistakes I can, and just ignore the ones I can't. Reality, sucks, but what can ya do?

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 24 Nov 2014 @ 2:16pm

    The gestapo will not be spied upon, their movements kept secret, and their actions unaccounted

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      tqk (profile), 24 Nov 2014 @ 4:55pm

      Re:

      The gestapo will not be spied upon, their movements kept secret, and their actions unaccounted

      You keep on trying to believe that if you wish. We're taking notes. Your victims will be avenged. We have all of eternity to dig your body back up and force you to atone for your sins. We'll have the last laugh. Your children will be ashamed of you.

      Still wanna be a putz? Up to you.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Anonymous Coward, 24 Nov 2014 @ 2:46pm

    Two Scenarios

    Fist is what we have here, an employee took pictures in a public place.

    Second is some anonymous, or even named person who is not an employee, who also takes similar pictures at a similar time, unbeknownst to the employee picture taker.

    Both post the photos to the Interwebz, but DHS only finds the not employee pictures.

    DHS now has no recourse, as no law was broken. Of course they could open a 'terrorism while not thinking about the children you might be a pedophile' investigation, but who isn't under one of those today? What pressure could they bring to bear on the hotel?

    And a question for bonus points; is the employee picture taker still liable if he is never found out? Schrodinger references lose points.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      tqk (profile), 24 Nov 2014 @ 5:12pm

      Re: Two Scenarios

      Schrodinger references lose points.

      "What'd you do to the cat?!? It looks half dead."

      That cat in a box with some radioactive half-life stuff was just a thought problem, you know? Nobody really took the question seriously. Well, no physicists did. Newspapers loved it (it sold advertising), but they're basically Karma whores, nothing else.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Obi Wan, 24 Nov 2014 @ 2:54pm

    Jedi Masters, DHS agents are

    These are not the DHS cars you think they are.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 24 Nov 2014 @ 3:18pm

    "Jim Bohnert -- formerly of the Secret Service and the St. Louis Police Department -- had more to say on the matter. He called the former military member a "terrorist" and told him he had "dishonorably served his country" by posting pictures of vehicles parked in a garage where any guest or employee of the hotel could have seen them. In fact, any member of the public could have seen them simply by entering the garage, which is not secured. Argus Streaming News writers were able to see "over 100" DHS vehicles in the garage while driving through it on their way to speak to the hotel's manager."

    If this is documented by something other than hearsay, Mr Bohnert has set himself, and his employer, up for a massive lawsuit, in addition to the unjustified termination suit. This oughta be fun. Popcorn, anyone? Our wonderful gubmint at work, again.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Name, 24 Nov 2014 @ 6:21pm

    Hide in Plain Sight

    Reminds me of the time when I was on barracks duty and the barracks, for whatever reason, decided to buy an BIG WHITE BREAD TRUCK. We took it to Fort Ord (gone now), and we arrived at night. As we were setting up our tents, our Captain started yelling at us about light discipline...and here's this BIG WHITE BREAD TRUCK sitting in the middle of the forrest!

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 24 Nov 2014 @ 7:07pm

    It's official: photographers are more dangerous than racial supremacists.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 24 Nov 2014 @ 7:12pm

    Bohnert sounds like the typical source of office drama. That sort of personality. He should get over himself.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Rodney Robinson, 25 Nov 2014 @ 5:41am

    Mark Paffrath

    This all points to our current culture of fear.

    The DHS is fearful of all their ostentatious vehicles getting burned up by Ferguson protesters.

    The Drury hotel is fearful of losing what must be a very lucrative contract.

    I am fearful of the DHS, the IRS, local law enforcement, Obama's executive orders, false flag operations, central planning, and psychopaths in government.

    Mark doesn't seem to be afraid. I doubt that he took down his Facebook post out of fear. I am guessing that at the time, it was not that big of a deal. I am glad to see that he is speaking up as it does shine a light into some dark corners of our society.

    In general I am not afraid of my neighbors, voters, church goers, NASCAR fans, golfers, chefs etc etc etc.

    Fear, it freezes the heart.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Rick Caird, 25 Nov 2014 @ 8:04am

    I keep forgetting that we are now governed by the Mafia. Pretty soon, Mark can expect a horse head in his bed.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    charlie solender, 26 Nov 2014 @ 3:38pm

    character of Jim Bohnert-you are what you are under pressure

    Shame! I see your actions as defaming (calling a young kid a terrorist). Your actions show you to be unmerciful. Have you even read the Word of God? Did you know you have a date with him at the judgement Bar? Your rush to judgement show you to be overbearing,unlearned, having a lack of discernment. You are undeserving of a position of authority because power without character is Satanic. You ought to make it right by rehiring this man with a verbal warning on record. He complied by removing the offending post. Why did you feel it was your place to further chastise him?

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]


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