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Troopers fired over KKK photo

TOLEDO, Ohio, April 23 (UPI) -- Two Ohio Highway Patrol officers have been fired after one was photographed by the other while dressed in a Ku Klux Klan-like costume, an official said.

The Toledo (Ohio) Blade reported Wednesday that Gov. Ted Strickland recommended that troopers Eric Wlodarsky and Craig Franklin be terminated.

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The newspaper reported that Wlodarsky used a cell phone on Jan. 20 to photograph Franklin wearing a white cone on his head and a white paper mask while both were on duty.

"It's unfortunate, and I don't think anyone would argue that what took place was egregious," said Col. Richard Collins, commander of the patrol.

He noted that the decision to fire the troopers was a response to the governor's recommendation.

"This incident has tarnished the reputation of a great law enforcement agency," the governor said in a statement Tuesday. "We cannot and will not tolerate this kind of insulting, disgraceful conduct which undermines public confidence in the important work that the patrol does every day."

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