Washington AG’s senior criminal investigator fired over BLM incident

VIDEO: Washington AG’s senior criminal investigator fired over BLM incident

The Washington state attorney general’s office has fired a senior criminal investigator after a server at a Tacoma restaurant said the investigator allegedly made a scene and stiffed her on her tip for wearing a Black Lives Matter button.

The Seattle Times reported that the office concluded an investigation Wednesday that said Cloyd Steiger, a former Seattle Police homicide detective, showed extremely poor judgment.

The AG’s office said Steiger wrote, “BLM Button = no tip. That’s how socialism works” on his restaurant receipt, then posted a picture of it on Facebook with the comment: “Our waitress was wearing a BLM button. I may have caused a scene. :)”

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“When you are that biased of a person and you get that upset and fired off about somebody wearing a pin, you should not be having other people’s lives in your hand and having that much control over other people,” said Fish Peddler restaurant server Reese Vincent, who spoke to KIRO 7 Friday after Steiger’s termination. “He can say what he wants but honestly, I feel like he got what he deserved.”

Vincent, who was wearing the BLM button, said she worried for her safety after Steiger posted the restaurant receipt to social media without covering her name. The AG’s Office said the investigator reportedly deleted the post “hours later” and made his Facebook page private a few days later.

“It’s concerning when somebody wants to post my name and post where I work to people could be extremists on the opposing side of what I believe in,” said Vincent. “It blows my mind because now we have to sit here and question all of his past work.”

Deputy Attorney General Todd Bowers said in the termination letter that Steiger failed to meet the integrity standards of the office and had undermined the trust of the public and his fellow workers. Steiger’s attorney Steve Fogg argued firing Steiger would violate his First Amendment rights.

Fogg says, “Terminating Cloyd is both a mistake and illegal. It is uncontested that Cloyd has served the public well for over forty years—his personnel record with the AG is spotless and he has been instrumental in solving dozens of homicides. The AG is firing Cloyd not because he didn’t do his job (he did it well) and not because he didn’t tip a waitress and raised his voice—if the AG fired people for that sort of private behavior, the ranks of the AG would be thin indeed. The AG fired Cloyd for expressing political opinions as a private citizen with which some members of the AG’s Office disagreed. That is not just illegal, but sets a frightening precedent that we will have no choice but to contest in court.”