The federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission announced this week that it had evidence to support claims of shocking racism and discrimination by Henrietta, NY, Town Supervisor Jack Moore.
Citing complaints by five employees spanning the past four years, the EEOC stated that Moore had once said a desk was “heavier than ten dead niggers” while moving office furniture of one of his accusers. The commission also said that Moore had referenced two women with the same name as “big” and “little” according to their breast size.
In an interview with WHEC, Moore denied having made the comments. Instead, he claimed that:
In the town of Henrietta, we have 275 full and part-time employees and I come from a world of a full day’s work for a full day’s pay and I have five employees who continue to not buy into our work ethic.
The EEOC’s findings however are in keeping with earlier allegations made against Moore, including a 2015 incident in which he criticized the Affordable Care Act using a racially insensitive term for black people, saying:
This Obamacare, I think that’s how we’re going to pay for your cousins in the city.
At the time, Moore rejected calls for him to step down from the position he’d held since 2013, telling the Democrat and Chronicle that “It was an insensitive remark and I regret making it. “
“On the positive side, it did make me aware of the need for sensitivity training for me and my employees,” Moore added.
While the EEOC’s findings do not constitute charges in and of themselves against Moore, they do clear the way for the employees who made the complaints to sue him.
In a statement to local station 13WHAM on Thursday night, an attorney for the town of Henrietta rejected the allegations made against Moore, saying:
The Town long ago denied the validity of any of the charges. Indeed, some of these claims are literally several years old.
The EEOC determinations did not determine that discrimination took place. The determination means that the claims may go to the next phase, potentially to a law suit. In fact, we do not even know at this time if they will go to suit. If they do, the Town and the Town Supervisor look forward to defending the claims before a neutral tribunal and establishing that no unlawful discrimination took place.
Because of the threat of litigation, as per standard policy and procedure, I have advised the Town Supervisor and Town Board to refrain from any further comment with respect to this matter.
According to WHEC, three of the five employees who complained to the EEOC still work for the town.