Monday, September 28, 2009

Fireproof Fred (Updated)

Imagine if you hacked your boss’s email account, became enmeshed in a juicy political scandal and then were nabbed by the police on a gun charge. You’d get fired, right?

Well, you’re probably not Fireproof!

Meet Fred “Fireproof” Felton, the Assistant City Manager of Gaithersburg. Felton has been on the job for almost twenty years and has lots of friends. One of them is House Majority Leader Kumar “Bad Boy” Barve. Two years ago, the Bad Boy was being, well, bad behind the wheel and called Fireproof Fred to bail him out. So Felton had a police car pick him up from the clink – a service not available to all Gaithersburg grog guzzlers – and that prompted an angry rebuke from the police chief.

Only a month later, Felton was back in the papers when he was caught hacking into the City Manager’s email account and sending out a few interesting messages. The Gazette reported on a couple of them:

One of the messages was sent to a young woman who works part time in the city’s environmental services division and included an emoticon, a keyboard symbol, known in the electronic messaging world as a reference to large breasts, according to a copy of the e-mail obtained by The Gazette.

A second message to the woman read: ‘‘You are soo hot!!!!!!!!!,” a copy of the e-mail shows.
Well, Felton was put on the hot seat himself, but not for long. The new Acting City Manager, who was not punked by Felton’s prank, decided not to investigate. And you wonder why we call him “Fireproof?”

But Felton’s nickname is in for a test. City police arrested him after an “accidental discharge” – from a weapon, people – in his apartment. Now it turns out that he had been drinking and blew 0.11 on a breath test. Furthermore, his neighbor was only six feet away from the wall-piercing buckshot. It’s lucky for Felton that his neighbors are lucky too.

Our sources in Gaithersburg tell us that when Felton’s not drinking, hacking and shooting weapons, he’s a pretty decent fellow. We’re sure the same thing could be said about many prison inmates. So will Fireproof Fred get fired for firing?

Keep your powder dry on this one, folks.

Update: Felton has retired. Since he left voluntarily, he retains his nickname.