A Kansas police officer resigned Monday after he admitted to fabricating a story about an anti-cop note he received at a McDonald's, the New York Times reports.
The incident made headlines over the weekend, after Herington Police Chief Brian Hornaday shared a Facebook photo of a McDonald's coffee cup inscribed with the phrase, "F**king pig." In the since-deleted post, Hornaday said the cup was given to one his officers as he was making his way to work.
"... Although I understand this is likely the act of one person and not a representation of the company, when it was brought to their attention, the company offered him a 'free lunch,'" the post read. "No thank you. A Big Mac and large fries doesn't make up for it. The US Veteran who continues to serve deserves much more. This is not only bad for McDonald's, but is also a black eye for Junction City."
Dana Cook, the owner of the McDonald's in question, denied the allegations and released a statement insisting there was security footage that proved none of the employees wrote the message.
The Herington Police Department launched an investigation, and quickly determined the officer who claimed to have received the cup had "fabricated" the story.
"This was completely and solely fabricated by a Herington police officer who is no longer employed with our agency," Hornaday said a press conference. "... The investigation that I conducted showed that this was meant to be a joke. However, we can see that how something so serious can get so out of control very, very quickly. The most important thing that could have been done and should have been done in this scenario would be to come forward immediately … however, unfortunately that was not done."
Hornaday said the 23-year-old officer, whom he did not identify, resigned late Monday. The officer had reportedly been with the department for two months.
"Integrity is the one and only sole trait of a police officer that you cannot allow to be damaged," Hornaday continued. "Once you damage your integrity, you’re done. You will not work in this profession ever again ... What I do not want to happen here is for the American public to look at this situation and call into question the integrity of any other officer in this country."
The hoax occurred about a month after an Oklahoma officer allegedly received his Starbucks order with the word "Pig" written on the label. A Starbucks employee was reportedly fired for the incident following an investigation.