Making threats on the life of first lady Michelle Obama can be bad for your career—as discovered by Washington, DC, police officer Christopher Picciano, who was suspended for 40 days without pay for “conduct unbecoming an officer” following his threats to shoot the first lady.
While Picciano, who claimed he was just joking, was officially cleared of administrative charges relating to the threats—he was found guilty of “conduct unbecoming an officer” for derogatory postings on social media websites, according to The Washington Post. The postings included a communist emblem – a hammer and sickle – superimposed over a campaign poster of President Obama, and also Piccianos’ description of his job as “zoo keeper of the MPD” (Metropolitan Police Department.)
In addition, when he was angered by the D.C. Council’s vote to curtail pension benefits, Picciano wrote on Facebook that he was about to take a rifle to a tall building.
Picciano was initially charged with making threatening comments last July 11 about shooting Michelle Obama and showing off a cell phone picture of a gun. The U.S. attorney’s office decided against filing official charges against Picciano. An anonymous official told The Washington Post that Secret Service agents and other law enforcement officials found that Picciano “wasn’t being serious.”
“We’re pleased that he was exonerated of all allegations that he made threats against the first lady,” said Picciano’s attorney, James W. Pressler, according to The Washington Post, which added that Picciano “has maintained from the beginning that it was an off-the-cuff remark, a joke.”
Picciano, a 17-year veteran, was a motorcycle escort for White House officials and other dignitaries when he was placed on desk duty while an investigation of the alleged threat was underway.
Meanwhile, the first lady glowed today at the second annual White House Kids State Lunch for the kid winners of her recipe contest to promote healthy eating. Invited to the dinner were 54 kids—ages 8-12, from every state, territory and the District of Columbia.
USA Today said Mrs. Obama “glowed” at the luncheon today, wearing “a silky sunshine yellow (or maybe corn-colored?) shift dress by Michael Kors with an oversized bow at the waist. The kicker for the outfit: Her lime-green pumps.”
Co-sponsored by food-themed website Epicurious.com and the education and agriculture departments to encourage more Americans to eat healthy food, the contest is a part of the first lady’s campaign against childhood obesity.
Some of the winning recipes, chosen from about 1,300 entries, were served at the lunch. The winners included Alaskan Ceviche with Mango and Zucchini Pancakes with Passion Fruit Banana Smoothies.
In addition to a tour of the White House Kitchen Garden, the kids were entertained by singer Rachel Crow.
President Obama made an appearance, just as he did last year, this time wearing a black-and-white polka-dot tie, made an appearance to speak to the kids and their family members, mingling at the tables to shake hands and make jokes. He said he’s learned to love veggies now that he knows not to boil them too much.
“And so you guys are getting a jump on things because you’re figuring that out earlier,” he told the kids.