PENTICTON (NEWS 1130) — Photos showing Santa acting naughty led to a Penticton man losing his job at a local mall, but his days as Santa are far from over.
Gary Haupt was fired from his gig after he posted a series of photos, featuring him decked out as Old Saint Nick, that he says were all taken in good fun.
“Those were not dirty pictures, they were not naughty pictures.”
One featured him drinking from a flask, another showed his hands hovering above a woman’s chest. When Management saw them, they terminated his $5,000 contract.
Since news of his firing spread he’s been in high-demand.
He spoke to NEWS 1130 Sunday after two appearances–one at a food bank fundraiser and one at a cafe. Both events were packed.
“We had no idea where this would go and the response in the community was so overwhelming,” he says. “So many people, in so many places have said, ‘you know what that was nonsense, that was B.S. they shouldn’t have done that. We want to come and see you. I feel like I was somewhat vindicated.”
He thinks his bosses could have handled the situation better, and given him a chance to explain.
“When I was brought in it was all business – no room for discussion. No questions.”
But he has no regrets.
“Upon reflection: No. I didn’t do anything wrong,” he says. “Ultimately the end result has been just fabulous.”