Originally created 11/17/06

Deputy is fired for Web profile



The Richmond County Sheriff's Office fired one deputy and suspended two others Thursday after an investigation into inappropriate pictures and information posted to the deputies' MySpace.com profiles.

Sheriff Ronnie Strength said Jason Izquierdo was terminated after going before the department's disciplinary review board. His profile contained an animated image from the movie American History X of a neo-Nazi stomping a black man's face.

It also contained remarks on how to remove blood from a police uniform and "suggestions" to the people he encountered on patrol that had racial overtones.

The profile has since been made private , visible only to Mr. Izquierdo's friends on the system.

The sheriff said he will not tolerate such photos from one of his deputies and that someone with that kind of attitude does not belong in law enforcement.

"We have fought very hard to fight that perception, and we definitely don't need that type of garbage put out by our people," the sheriff said.

Deputies Philip Hambrick and Colby Harrell were placed on suspension for 10 days and two days, respectively, for personal pictures with department property. A photo on Deputy Hambrick's profile pictured him with his department-issued Glock handgun. Deputy Harrell had a photo of his personal motorcycle next to his patrol car.

A July memo ordered personnel not to post pictures depicting themselves in uniform, refer to the sheriff's office or depict any other item identifying the sheriff's office.

Each deputy also will face a year's probation, the sheriff said.

All were road patrol deputies; Sheriff Strength said Mr. Izquierdo started in January 2005. Deputy Harrell has 18 months with the sheriff's office, and Deputy Hambrick has been with the agency about two years.

As of Thursday, Deputy Harrell's profile had been set to private, and his main profile picture was of just his motorcycle.

No definite profile could be found Thursday on the MySpace system for Deputy Hambrick.

Reach Jeremy Craig at (706) 823-3409 or jeremy.craig@augustachronicle.com.

WHAT'S NEXT:

Richmond County sheriff's deputies Philip Hambrick, Colby Harrell and Jason Izquierdo, who was fired, have 10 days to appeal their punishments before the Sheriff's Office Merit Board.