Texas Prosecutor Fired After Allegedly Berating Uber Driver: ‘Who Are They Going to Believe?’

Dallas County officials have fired a prosecutor after she allegedly berated an Uber driver and accused him of kidnapping her during a Friday ride that was captured on audio.

Jody Warner, 32, allegedly insulted and harassed 26-year-old Shaun Platt as he attempted to drive her home from a bar late that night.

“She actually hit me,” Platt recalled during an interview with ABC News. “It was not how I expected my night to go.”

Platt said Warner began yelling at friends out the window after he picked Warner up at Capitol Pub, the Dallas Morning News reports. He said she became upset when he tried to initiate small talk and grew angrier after she asked him to change directions.

The driver recorded the incident, and in the footage, a woman’s voice is heard calling plat “stupid,” “an idiot” and “a legitimate retard.”

“She kept saying she was the assistant D.A. Said, ‘Who are they gonna believe? You or me?’ ” Platt told ABC. “I said, ‘You know what? You’re kinda right.’ So I took out my phone and I recorded it.”

Platt recounted his story to the Dallas publication, noting that Warner allegedly threatened him by saying he was “Never going to work again,” and “Who are they going to believe? I’m a district attorney.”

In audio of the incident, the woman’s voice was heard saying, “I think this might be kidnapping right now, actually.” However, Platt is heard telling her she is free to leave and even asks her to leave the car.

Platt said he eventually called the police and an officer took Warner away. Dallas police did not immediately respond to a request for comment from PEOPLE.

Detective Who Berated Uber Driver Has Been Transferred

In a statement to ABC, Warner denied hitting Platt, but expressed regret over the incident.

“I cringe whenever I hear or think about the things that I said that night,” she said. “The audio doesn’t tell you that I was in a situation that made me feel very uncomfortable.”

On Monday, District Attorney Faith Johnson revealed the firing in a statement, announcing that a “thorough investigation” had been conducted.

“Although criminal charges have not been filed, behavior is contrary to this office’s core principle of integrity, and it will not be tolerated,” Johnson said.

Platt told ABC that he forgives Warner and wants the public to leave her alone.

“I’m sorry that it cost her her job. That was not my intent,” he said. “But you don’t treat people that way.”


PEOPLE.com

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‘Survivor’ Player Claims He Was Fired From Job After Outing Transgender Teammate

Reality TV contestant Jeff Varner spent much of last week apologizing for making the “worst decision” of his life on “Survivor: Game Changers,” and now he’s facing the consequences of that decision in the real world.

Varner claims he lost his position at Allen Tate Real Estate on Thursday because he outed fellow tribe member Zeke Smith as transgender during Wednesday night’s episode of the reality TV competition.

“I didn’t even find out from my company,” Varner told EOnline.com on Saturday. “Suddenly my real estate license was inactive and my current clients [were] left in the dark.”

Varner added, “It took hours after my press junket to get anyone with the company on the phone to tell me personally and even longer to calm my clients, all of whom, by the way, are coming with me to my new firm.”

Allen Tate Real Estate did not immediately respond to The Huffington Post’s request for comment about Varner’s story.

The 51-year-old, who has appeared on “Survivor” three times, said his termination was directly related to the controversy that instantly erupted after the outing episode aired. 

“My former boss told me that I was in a news story they wanted nothing to do with,” he told EOnline.com. “I was devastated.” He said he’d warned the firm that headlines might be coming, “but apparently not the people who needed to hear it.”

Varner has faced intense scrutiny and backlash since he tried to save himself from being voted off “Survivor” by asserting that Smith was being “deceptive” by not discussing his gender identity and history with the other competitors.

“There is deception here. Deception on levels … that these guys don’t even understand,” Varner told his teammates. “Why haven’t you told anyone that you’re transgender?”

Smith, a 29-year-old gay asset manager from Brooklyn who has appeared twice on the show, used the shocking moment to draw attention to the danger that trans people face and the potentially deadly consequences of being outed.

“I think he hoped others would believe that trans people are dangerous and fraudulent,” Smith told People magazine. “That reasoning is infinitely worse than him outing me because it’s the same one used to discriminate against, attack and murder trans people. What’s great is that nobody bought it.”

Smith, who worked with CBS and GLAAD in the months between the filming of the episode and its airing on Wednesday, offered more thoughts about his very public outing in an op-ed for The Hollywood Reporter on Thursday, including his current feelings about Varner.

“If we’re being perfectly honest with one another, I’ve struggled with that forgiveness in the months following,” Smith wrote. “I can’t foresee us sipping martinis together in Fire Island. While I can reconcile the personal slight of him outing me, I continue to be troubled by his willingness to deploy such a dangerous stereotype on a global platform.”

Varner, who posted an apology on Instagram just moments after the episode aired, said he has been in therapy during the 10 months since filming to deal with the aftermath of the outing.

“I probably sent all the red flags up that I was going to kill myself over this, which, of course, I would never do that as much as I felt like I probably deserved it,” Varner told EOnline.com. “There was a psychologist outside at the path that I walked down and I fell into her arms. It was just great for me.”

Ultimately, he’s just happy to have it out in the open.

“I knew that it would be emotional,” Varner said. “I cried a lot. I sat numb a lot. There was relief that this is finally out there.”

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Florida Man Fired After Facebook Post Saying He Wants To Marry His Dog

Ryan Uhler thought he was being funny when he took to Facebook to compare marrying his dog to same-sex marriage, but he quickly found himself in the doghouse at work.

Uhler, 32, a resident of Cape Coral, Florida, posted the following message the day after the Supreme Court’s June 26 ruling that gay marriage is legal everywhere, according to TheBlaze.com.

”How is marrying a dog different if you love them? Today I hope we can focus on doggy-style love. I love my dog Rocco, and he loves me. Hopefully one day we can be married.”

On Tuesday, his employer, Grace Investment Group, fired him from his position as a digital marketing specialist.

“I was blindsided,” he told The Huffington Post. “I didn’t think anyone there knew how to use Facebook.”

Uhler told The Huffington Post he didn’t mean anything derogatory by the post, and has no problem with the Supreme Court’s decision.

However, he also admits being aware that likening same-sex marriage to an animal wedding is a cliche often used by critics of LGBT rights.

“I’m very neutral about politics. Sometimes, I will try and get a reaction to spark comments and responses.” Uhler told The Huffington Post. “I really didn’t want to offend. I have gay people I know and love and I wouldn’t want to offend them, but they know my sense of humor.”

He said he simply likes to go on Facebook and “stir the pot” sometimes in “either direction,” he said, according to the Palm Beach Post.

Uhler said company officials told him the Facebook post was the reason he was being fired and claimed they told him they were uncomfortable with the connotations of bestiality.

“It wasn’t about that at all,” he said. “It’s about loving a dog. People have told me, ‘I have a dog and I’d make that joke too.'”

Grace Investment Group hasn’t confirmed whether the post was why Uhler was canned, but it doesn’t have to: Florida is an “at will” state, which means employers can fire workers for any reason and without notice, according to WTSP.com.

Uhler, a married man, may be out of work, but he joked to NBC-2 that he would indeed marry Rocco if he were allowed.

However, he’s not laughing about being unemployed.

“The reason I’m coming forward about this is that I don’t want anyone to make the same mistake I did about posting jokes like this on Facebook,” he told HuffPost.


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Brooks Wheelan Says He’s ‘Fired’ From ‘SNL’

Brooks Wheelan, one of six featured players hired by “Saturday Night Live” before the start of the show’s 39th season, will not return for Season 40. Wheelan tweeted the news on Monday:


When contacted by HuffPost Entertainment to confirm Wheelan’s ouster, an NBC representative said that neither the network nor show comment on casting changes. That “SNL” would see some turnover before its 40th season is no surprise: Back in June, executive producer Lorne Michaels told Deadline.com that cast adjustments were forthcoming.

“We’re still in the middle of rebuilding,” Michaels said. “So there will be changes this year.”

Wheelan was a stand-up comic before being hired by “SNL.” The 27-year-old was initially brought onto the show as a writer, but he became the sixth and final addition to the cast before the 39th season began. (Colin Jost and Sasheer Zamata were added as featured players during this past season.)

“Each step of the way I thought it was pretty neat that I had gotten this far, so I didn’t put too much pressure on myself in that way,” Wheelan told the Bellevue Reporter about auditioning for “SNL” in an interview published earlier this year. “As far as the audition itself, they saw me perform in Montreal, then in L.A., and then I auditioned on the stage where they shoot the show in New York. It was all scary, but I tried to [minimize that].”

During his stint as a “Saturday Night Live” featured player, Wheelan made a couple of appearances on Weekend Update. He recalled those moment and some of his other favorite memories in a video published by NBC at the close of the season.

As ScreenCrush.com senior editor Mike Ryan pointed out, however, Wheelan’s last appearance on “SNL” might have foreshadowed his exit.


Watch that sketch, without Wheelan included, below.


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Park Ranger Deryl Nelson Claims He Was Fired For Dancing On The Job

A park ranger’s love of public dancing may have sent him waltzing into the unemployment line.

Deryl Nelson, 51, worked at Coolidge Park in Chattanooga, Tennessee, for seven years. About a year into into the job, he drew cheers for joining a group of visitors doing the Macarena.

After that, there was no stopping him and he would boogie oogie oogie at impromptu moments.

“It’s all about enjoying what you do and that’s the way I feel,” Nelson said told WRCB TV. “[It’s] clean fun. It’s nothing like doing any bumping and grinding.”

Some say otherwise.

Work was a kick for Nelson until recently when he was booted off the job after a woman named Melissa Parsons filmed one of his dance sessions and posted it online.

The raw video of Nelson’s dance shows him at one point laying on the ground with his legs folded under his body while he seems to pump his pelvis towards the sky.

“As a parent and seeing all the parents that were covering their kids eyes and turning their heads away, it wasn’t something you would expect to see in Coolidge Park or anywhere from a grown man, especially a man in uniform,” Parsons told NewsChannel9.com. “He went all the way to the ground, he came back up from the ground, he was grabbing areas that you would see on a rated R movie.”

WATCH: Deryl Nelson The Dancing Park Ranger

When Nelson’s supervisors saw the video, they terminated him for what the city calls, “conduct unbecoming a public employee.”

Chattanooga city officials say they do not comment on personnel matters, but this isn’t Nelson’s first dance with danger.

According to city records, Nelson was suspended for crashing a car while on duty. In 2013, he was suspended for five days for “addressing inappropriate remarks to a co-worker,” according to UPI.com.

Last year, he also won an award from the police department for helping save a woman’s life at the park, MercuryNews.com reported.

News about Nelson’s termination has moved some people to their feet.

A Facebook group called Bring Back Deryl Nelson: The Dancing Park Ranger has attracted about 486 supporters, about the same number that has signed a Change.org petition addressed to the City of Chattanooga.

Nelson refuses to take the termination lying down — literally — and wants his job back.

“This is my song and nothing going to bring me down,” he said, according to TimesFreePress.com. “I love life and I love dancing!”

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Mariska Hargitay’s Haircut Almost Got Her Fired From ‘Law & Order: SVU’

Mariska Hargitay has had many different haircuts over the years of “Law & Order: SVU,” but one in particular almost got her fired. The Emmy-winning star told WENN that Dick Wolf was not pleased with her accidental short crop.

The event happened during Season 3 of “Law & Order: SVU.” “You know that moment,” Hargitay said in September, according to MSN. “I look up and [my breath caught]. My hair was so cute and then all of a sudden, he did the one irrevocable cut. I went, ‘Oh! Oh!’ and he said, ‘What? Honey, you’re gorgeous.’ He kept going. He cuts it and then he leaves. I’m calling the producer at 10:30, [crying], ‘I just got a haircut. I don’t think it looks good!’ I went over to the producer’s house and he was like, ‘Yeah, that’s a problem.’ When they saw dailies [at work], they weren’t happy.”

Hargitay told WENN she was in the middle of shooting an episode when she requested the haircut for a photoshoot and the stylist cut the wrong piece.

“I give the guy a glass of wine, he’s trimming my hair, everything’s great … and then all of a sudden I turn my head and he cuts the wrong piece off and I was like, ‘No…!’ I’m like, ‘Dude, I’m in the middle of an episode,'” she recently told WENN. “I got in so much trouble.”

Hargitay said she called series creator Wolf he said, “‘I’ve fired people for less.'”

“I said, ‘You can’t be mad at me; I’m the one with the dramatic hairdo,'” she said.

Harigtay recently chopped off her locks as part of her character’s transformation following the brutal events of the Season 15 events. The actress’ hair has not only almost gotten her fired, but has also inspired blogs.

“Law & Order: SVU” airs Wednesdays, 9 p.m. EST on NBC.


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