Obama prayer leads to sergeant being suspended

6:51 AM, Jan 5, 2011   |    comments
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Palmetto, Florida - Something called "The Obama Prayer" has landed a Manatee County corrections sergeant in hot water. According to an internal affairs report, Sergeant Matthew Neu highlighted a verse in a Bible that reads, "Let his days be few - and let another take his office."

Sgt. Neu's co-workers at the Manatee County Central Jail facility in Palmetto say it's a well known fact that Neu is not a fan of President Barack Obama.

Many of them explained that in a 16-page internal affairs report, saying he made that clear in casual conversation before. But one of his co-workers, Sergeant Martha Nash, told investigators he went too far recently. She says what he admitted to doing was shocking.

Sgt. Nash says a copy of her Bible was on her desk and inside that Bible was a handwritten note that said "Obama Prayer." She says at first she thought it was probably something positive until she took a closer look.

The verse that Sgt. Neu admits to circling in that Bible is from the book of Psalm: Chapter 109 Verse 8 which reads, "Let his days be few; and let another take his office." 

Nash said "she felt whoever left the note wanted the president dead and that the supporting verses after that verse support that." The following verse reads, "Let his children be fatherless, and his wife a widow."

But Sgt. Neu told investigators it was not a threat on the president. In the report, he admits, "Maybe it was not in good taste."  He says it was never intended for Nash.

He adds that the desk where he left the Bible is shared by several co-workers and that there was a stack of Bibles on the desk. A stack of Bibles that the chaplain hands out to inmates and other employees.

Neu says he planned to show the Bible verse to others since he'd received an email about the Bible verse because "he thought it was funny."

The sheriff of Manatee County, Brad Steube, was out of the office on Monday and 10 News was told no one else within the department would talk about the incident. We were told that the internal affairs report speaks for itself.

Meanwhile, Sgt. Neu has been suspended without pay for about 26 hours. That's about three 8-hour shifts.

Do you think the punishment is justified? Join a discussion on MomsLikeMe.com.

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Tammie Fields, 10 News

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