Sad: Department of Health Employee Resigns After Debate Night Tweets


Earlier this week I wrote a post about a public information officer at the Department of Health accidentally using the agency’s official Twitter account for her personal (and hilarious) debate reactions (see above).

“I’m the PIO and I grabbed the wrong phone,” Colleen Reinke told me via email when I sent her a request for comment that night. “This obviously is not the position of the department and I’m mortified. Reporting to my boss now. My sincere apologies. The tweets have been deleted… Not soon enough, obviously.”

I thought the incident was funny, but not that big of a deal. Today, though, my colleague Mike Nowatzki reports that Reinke has resigned after having sent this statement to her superiors at the agency:

“This was a dreadful mistake. The tweets were deleted when the mistake was discovered but not before a great deal of damage was done,” she wrote. “I am sincerely sorry for my actions and have resigned my position effective immediately. The tweets in no way reflect the policies or positions of the department of health and reflect only my own personal views. I apologize to all of my wonderful co-workers … I am so very sorry for causing this mess.”

I had seen Twitter postings to a private account seemingly belonging to Reinke saying she planned to resign. I had hoped it wasn’t true. I guess it was.

It’s really too bad. While Reinke’s postings were certainly inappropriate for an official government social media account, the mistake is an easy one to make. Heck, I’ve goofed that up myself, posting things I intended for my personal Twitter account to the official account for this blog.

Reinke is entitled to her opinions about Trump – who can deny that he has weird hair? – and her views on debate moderator Lester Holt are shared by many.

If this incident is the only impetus for her resignation, then I wish she hadn’t.

Again, this was an innocent mistake anyone could have made.

Embarrassing? Sure.

Hilarious? You betcha.

But not something worth quitting your job over.