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Fireman Fired For Religious Emails

The Spokane Valley Fire Department on Monday fired a captain who continued to send religious emails from his department email account despite numerous orders to stop. Capt. Jon Sprague (pictured in SR file photo by Tyler Tjomsland), who runs the Spokane County Christian Firefighter Fellowship, has been disciplined several times for sending the emails. This year, he received a letter of counseling, a letter of reprimand and a second letter of reprimand with a suspension of two 24-hour shifts without pay before the Spokane Valley Board of Fire Commissioners voted unanimously to fire him. Sprague sends out emails using the department’s email system to a group of firefighters who have agreed to receive them. He has emphasized that he is not proselytizing and said he believes sending the emails is his First Amendment right/Nina Culver, SR. More here.

Question: Is Capt. Jon Sprague of the Spokane Valley Fire Department being persecuted and denied his First Amendment rights? Or properly disciplined for not heeding repeated warnings to stop using department emails to send religious material?

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About this blog

D.F. Oliveria is a columnist and blogger for The Spokesman-Review. Print Huckleberries is a past winner of the Herb Caen Memorial Column contest by the National Association of Newspaper Columnists. The Readership Institute of Northwestern University cited this blog as a good example of online community journalism.

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