NAACP allegation of Taylorville official using n-word sparks new harassment training
SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (WICS) —
Taylorville continues to “look into” if a city official used a racial slur with employees.
Now, recent allegations from the NAACP are sparking changes with the city's employment protocol.
NAACP accused the Taylorville Street and Sewer Superintendent of using the n word with employees.
Mayor Bruce Barry said he’s still looking into this and said while he's doing that, he has decided to start a new harassment training with everyone who works with the city.
“I took her allegations seriously,” Barry said.
NAACP from Springfield went to Taylorville’s City Council and publicly expressed the allegations. The person in question is the Street and Sewer Superintendent, Dick Wiseman.
“I've talked with Mr. Wiseman directly,” Barry said. “He supposedly has had admitted saying ‘the word’ in the past, but not in the near past, the last three or four years."'
They mayor is “inquiring” about the accusations but said it's tough because the NAACP won't hand over any of its allegations.
“He won't receive anything from me,” NAACP President Teresa Haley said. “I contacted our legal department. We have our participants to sign a disclosure of authorization that allows us to speak on their behalf to do some internal investigation if we need to. But to put their names out there or redact their names and situations out there; if you read it and you knew which areas they worked at, it would be easy to identify these individuals who live in a small community like Taylorville."
Haley said there are at least five people who came forward.
"According to our legal,” Haley said. “It would have to up to individual employees to say that 'we feel comfortable ‘yes, you can release it' or they can release it on their own."
When the mayor started digging into the allegations, he realized the city did not have any harassment training. Now he is implementing it and requiring it for all city workers starting this year.
"One thing I am going to do is require all our AFSME, all our employees, including management superintendents and all our unions,” Barry said. “To come go to the harassment type of class."
Mayor Barry said he hopes this training will help avoid any similar allegations in the future.
The first harassment class is next week and will be required every year.
The mayor said he'll keep looking into these allegations and he plans on having a decision about what to do by the first week of June.