Department of Corrections director criticized for social media post

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JEFFERSON CITY (AP) — Missouri prison guards are criticizing the Department of Corrections director, who was photographed at a September golf fundraiser holding a beer while wearing a shirt with the department logo.

A policy from the Department of Corrections states employees are held to a "high standard of ethical conduct in both their professional and personal lives" when it comes to drugs and alcohol.

Prison employee union chief Gary Gross says employees would face discipline if they were pictured doing the same thing in their uniforms, according to the Associated Press. 

Department chief Anne Precythe's photo had been posted on Facebook by the Missouri 10-33 Benevolent Fund, which raises money to help the survivors of public safety officers killed in the line of duty. It was removed on Monday.

Corrections spokeswoman Karen Pojmann said Precythe was not wearing a department uniform, but a shirt with a department logo made by state inmates and sold to state employees.

Pojmann said Precythe does not drink beer because she has a gluten-free diet and Precythe was just holding the beer while joking with other attendees.

"It was a festive atmosphere and it was a photo taken in fun, but whether she drinks a beer or not should not be an issue."

Pojmann said the director did not do anything illegal or unethical, but Pojmann said she does not know why the picture was deleted.

Former employee Jack Miller, who worked at the Department of Corrections for 17 years, said Precythe should be leading by example.

"As a leader of the department, she should know better than that. Probably she was just having a little fun like everyone else does, but you can't mix the two together," he said. 

Miller said there is a double standard between management and staff.

"If that would've been me, they'd fire me on the spot," Miller said. "What's good for the goose is good for the gander and that's the way it should be."

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