Collier County employee being investigated for Facebook post

Author: Jennifer Jones

COLLIER COUNTY, Fla.- A county employee is on leave for posting what some say was a threatening Facebook post. This comes just a week after the county discussed fining drivers for harassing pedestrians, cyclists and runners.

In the conversation, Heidi Fahnestock, asked a bicyclist where he rides and stated she would love to “plow” him and his “stupid video recorder” off the road. Fahnestock is a supervisor for the Food Programs in the Department of Community and Human Services.

“That’s a threat, I mean it’s black and white,” said Mitch Norgart, President of the Gulf Coast Runners.

The social media discussion followed the commissioners discussion of an anti-harrassment ordinance last Tuesday. If passed motorists could face fines and or jail time for harassing people walking or riding down a street.

“I think it was perfect timing for motorists to be held liable and for them to pay a fine for harassing cyclists and non-motorized people that’s a good thing we need to do that, hit ’em in the pocket book,” said Norgart.

He said, “It’s a much bigger picture, a bigger story than just what one person is saying to another person over social media we need to create a culture where people are friendlier.”

The Collier County Sheriff’s Office tells WINK News the comments don’t rise to the level of a crime. They say Fahnestock was just frustrated and never intended to actually harm cyclists.

“If we create awareness that there are people out there who for no good reason have an issue against pedestrians or cyclists on sharing the road then we need to do more about it,” said Norgart.

The county said their internal investigation will be complete by the end of the week.

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