A tweet linking to an offensive joke came from the Anne Arundel County Sheriff's Office early Monday morning, and was taken down with a few hours.

"We are investigating it. I don't know if it was a hack, I don't know what it is," said Lt. Col. Rick Tabor, the second in command to Sheriff Ron Bateman.

Reb Orrell, who said he works part-time for the sheriff's office, told The Baltimore Sun he accidentally shared the American White History Month photo that contained the statement.

He said he does not agree with the post, which took a shot at illegal immigrants, drug addicts, people receiving public assistance, prisoners and Congress. The information has been taken down.

Lt. Col. Rick Tabor, the second in command to Sheriff Ron Bateman, said he could not name the person, but confirmed he is a part-time civilian employee.

"We are investigating it," Tabor said. He said the tweet was from the man's home, not while he was working, and that "measures have been taken to ensure that type of incident will not occur in the future."

Statements from the office called the post "disturbing" and "inappropriate." They said the Sheriff's Office did not condone the sentiment.

It apparently came from Orrell's Facebook page. He said Monday morning that he works two days a week in the warrants section of the Sheriff's Office. The 64-year-old Glen Burnie man said "apparently that was something that came in on Facebook" from a friend, and then he must have accidentally sent it out.

"Apparently my account and the Sheriff's Office account got intertwined, and when I did something on my account, it showed up on theirs," he said.

He described himself as a retired website designer who now does photography, and was working much of the night on a project. "I must have hit the wrong button by mistake."

A friend alerted him Monday morning, he said. "I looked at it and said, 'Oh, my God,'" he said.

"That certainly is not a position of the sheriff or myself," he said.

andrea.siegel@baltsun.com

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