CINCINNATI — Hamilton County Sheriff Charmaine McGuffey has fired a deputy who had posted a "far-right, anti-government militia" flag on a public-facing social media profile last year.
The I-Team discovered Deputy Michael Stemmerding -- going by Michael David on Facebook -- had posted as his public cover image the flag of the 3Percenters group, which the FBI has described as a "far-right extremist," "radical militia" with members who “ascribe to extreme anti-government, pro-gun beliefs."
WCPO's investigation prompted McGuffey to launch an internal investigation of Stemmerding and his use of social media.
Hamilton County Sheriff's Office spokesperson Kyla Woods confirmed Stemmerding's dismissal Friday afternoon.
"Earlier today, Michael Stemmerding was terminated from his employment as a Deputy Sheriff with the Hamilton County Sheriff’s Office. This is a result of an internal investigation that was initiated when the Sheriff’s Office became aware of violations of our Office’s social media policy. The Sheriff’s’ Office deputies are held to a high standard of transparency and accountability," McGuffey said in a written statement to WCPO.
Stemmerding first posted the flag on Dec. 26, 2020, and it remained visible to the public for more than six weeks. The group's name comes from their belief that only 3% of Americans took up arms to fight the British during the American Revolution, according to the website of Kentucky 3Percenters.
"It's very concerning, very serious," McGuffey said after WCPO presented her with screenshots of Stemmerding's post.