PANAMA CITY — A Facebook post on a local law firm’s business page that drew fire Monday was the result of a hack, according to attorney Albert Sauline, who said he and his marketing team are investigating where the “disgusting” post came from.
At 4:14 a.m. Sunday, the Facebook page for Albert J. Sauline III Attorney at Law posted a photo of Sauline’s business card with the message, “Drunk in the middle of the night, all because the woman led you on all night for free drinks then wouldn’t keep her promise after the Club? Call Attorney Sauline … where we understand the tease.” The post also tagged Sauline’s personal Facebook page.
When contacted Monday about the post, Sauline stated that his firm contracts with an out-of-state company called Scorpion for social media posts, adding that the post was made without his knowledge and was “not worded in the way in which it should have been.” He said he deleted the post as soon as he was made aware of it.
“Obviously, that’s disgusting and I have personally removed it,” Sauline said.
Later in the afternoon, Sauline said he spoke with the marketing firm, who stated they had changed the account’s passwords, though he was not clear on the scope of the compromise.
“It looked like someone was hacking our system,” Sauline said.
Because of the odd timing, the post went largely unnoticed on Sunday but quickly drew dozens of critical comments — mostly from women — come Monday morning.
The post did appear to have been removed from the page about 11:30 a.m. Monday, replaced with a photo of Sauline and his family saying that they appreciated the support from the community and “realize those who know us personally agree that such a post will never reflect the views of our law firm.”
Several posts on the Facebook page appear to be off-beat from the usual fare, including one posted on New Year’s warning people not to drink and drive, “But when you do, we’re only digits away” and one posted on Thanksgiving telling people to call them “when you drink too much, and finally hit that one relative you absolutely despise.” Those posts also tag Sauline’s personal page.
While the post might have been taken down, the sentiment remains for some, like Chipley attorney Michelle Jordan who said she and her female colleagues face sexism routinely. Jordan commented on the original post, tagging the Florida Bar Facebook page, telling them to “look at this” as they wonder why women are leaving the profession.
“We encounter it every day,” said Jordan. “Every female lawyer that I know deals with this, whether it’s name calling — I’ve been called a ‘ball buster,’ I’ve been told by colleagues to ‘grow some balls and deal with this.’ When I go into court, I’ve had judges comment on how pretty I looked that day and they don’t say anything like that to the opposing counsel.
“It’s just gross,” Jordan added. “That mentality is very much alive today.”