The Washington State Attorney General’s Office fired a senior criminal investigator after writing “BLM button = no tip. That’s how socialism works” on a restaurant receipt, then boasting about it on Facebook.
It is alleged that on September 6, 61-year-old senior investigator Cloyd Steiger, visited a Tacoma restaurant with his wife where he publicly rebuffed restaurant staff and stiffed a waitress on her tip for wearing a Black Lives Matter button.
The server, 19-year-old Reese Vincent, claimed the couple seemed “standoffish” and anxious to leave after a single round of drinks. According to The Daily Chronicle, Vincent said she was respectful and cashed them out, but Steiger then confronted another young employee he thought was a manager about the BLM button. The conversation “ended with Steiger swearing and flipping the young man off.”
Steiger then took to Facebook in a now-deleted post to share a picture of the $46.74 receipt with the hand-scribbled note.
The former Seattle Police homicide detective was then placed on administrative leave pending an investigation. On Wednesday, he was fired after the investigation concluded Steiger showed extremely poor judgment and “irreparably compromised’ his credibility and brought “significant disruption and embarrassment to the office.”
In a termination letter, Deputy Attorney General Todd Bowers condemned Steiger’s “angry’ and ‘disrespectful’ actions which undermine the trust of the public. The letter also stated that Steiger compared the Black Lives Matter organization to the white supremacy group the Klu Klux Klan.
Steiger and his lawyer are calling the AG Office’s decision unconstitutional. In a statement Friday, Steiger’s attorney Steve Fogg claimed the firing was a violation of Steiger’s First Amendment rights and that they are preparing to take the fight to court.
“Terminating Cloyd is both a mistake and illegal,” Fogg stated pointedly. “This sets a frightening precedent that we will have no choice but to contest in court.”