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 Navy Veteran Fired from Drury Plaza Hotel for Posting Photos of Homeland Security Vehicles on Facebook

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Join date : 2014-10-18

PostSubject: Navy Veteran Fired from Drury Plaza Hotel for Posting Photos of Homeland Security Vehicles on Facebook   Sun Nov 16, 2014 12:47 am

Chesterfield, MO - Yesterday should have been a normal workday for 28 year old Mark Paffrath, a Houseman at the Drury Plaza Hotel in Chesterfield. Instead, it turned out to be anything but.

Mark, a veteran of the US Navy, having served in the middle east, has been employed at the Drury Plaza Hotel for approximately the last year and a half. Yesterday, however that employment abruptly ended. 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.

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.

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.

This however, was not the end of the conversation. Mark stated that Mr. Bohnert continued and said "you're a terrorist and you have dishonorably served your country by posting the photos and video". Mark pleaded with Mr. Bohnert stating "he never put the location down on the post". Mr. Bohnert replied "all they have to do is click on your name and see where you work". Mark stated that Mr. Bohnert ended the conversation with "if you repost the photos and video you will have the federal government knocking on your door and you will be incarcerated".

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".

We drove through the parking garage at the Drury Plaza Hotel on our way to speak with management for a comment. There were over 100 Homeland Security vehicles, row after row. If we hadn't known any better, we could have easily mistaken this for a Homeland Security garage.

Upon arrival at Drury Plaza I asked to speak with the manager. I was met by Tony Effinger, Assistant Hotel Manager. I advised him who I was and that I was looking for a comment on the termination of Mark for posting photos on the Homeland Security vehicles on Facebook. He immediately responded with "I was told I cannot make any comments on that". I then asked him if he could please put me in touch with someone who could comment on it. He asked me to hold on and picked up the phone. When someone answered, he said "Hi Alison it's Tony at Drury, sorry to bother you". He when to explain we were there and looking for comment. After hanging up he stated that we would need to leave our information and someone would get back to us. We have had no response from anyone at Drury.

I would also like to note, that while researching for this article, I found that Jim Bohnert was formerly an Assistant Special Agent In-Charge for the United States Secret Service from March 1991 to October 2011 and previous to that a Police Officer with the St. Louis County Police Department from August 1982 to March 1991.

We will continue to update this story as we obtain further information and/or responses.

Christopher Gagne

314-714-6788 x202



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