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Martin Sales Tax Vote: Police officer's post offends some

Posted at 4:58 PM, Aug 29, 2017
and last updated 2017-08-29 20:18:03-04

Leading up to Tuesday’s sales tax vote, Martin County posted a number of videos on Facebook explaining the issue to residents.  There were comments for and against the proposal.  But one comment got Eduardo Barba mad.

“I was shocked, I was shocked," said Barba Tuesday.

He saw this line, “Vote NO, let the illegals in Golden Gate pay taxes.”  Golden Gate is a working class neighborhood south of Stuart.

“I have a lot of friends who work very hard in landscaping, roofing, painting and they take taxes off their checks," said Barba.

What upset Barba even more was when he discovered the comment had been made by a Stuart police officer.

“You would guess that they’re here to protect and take care of people," added Barba.

Barba said he reached out to the department on social media looking for an apology.  NewsChannel 5 alerted Chief David Dyess to the comment.  He sent us a statement saying, “The comment made by the officer was deleted prior to me ever finding out about it.  The officer didn’t have an understanding of the tax issue or the negative connotation of his post.  While governing employees off duty speech is difficult, we do frown upon social media interactions and posts that bring a negative light to the department.”

Barba said that’s small comfort.

“I got really offended by his comment because he’s saying we don’t pay our taxes and make the people pay when we do.”