|DES MOINES, Iowa - A television photographer who was fired for urinating in a cemetery while covering the funeral of an Iowa soldier was denied unemployment benefits. Gerry Edwards, of Center Point, was dismissed in December by KGAN-TV in Cedar Rapids.
In November, Edwards urinated near a monument at a cemetery while he was there covering the funeral procession for 23-year-old Sgt. James Musack, of Riverside, who was killed in Iraq, court records said.
Another journalist photographed the incident, and it was e-mailed to Edwards' managers. Records said officials escorted Edwards out of the building within hours and gave him a choice of resigning or being fired.
The administrative law judge who heard Edwards' appeal for unemployment benefits said the act of urinating at the cemetery was disrespectful, unprofessional and offensive.
Edwards testified at a recent hearing that he was unable to leave the cemetery to urinate for fear of missing the funeral procession.
"I was leaned on to get that shot," Edwards testified.
KGAN Station Manager Mike Sullivan declined to comment, saying it was a personnel matter
for one this is just gross wrong. I mean sure when you gota go you gota go but I am sure he could have held it in or went before the coverage of the funeral was going to be taped. I am glad that he got fired for that. Urintaing outside at a public place is one thing, but at a funeral is another.