The release last week of a county report about allegations of racial and hateful comments by a couple of county leaders ended with this conclusion: There is no “legal” evidence of any wrongdoing, but that both Barrow County Board of Commissioners chairman Danny Yearwood and director Lyn Clement should attend “training courses” to modify their having said “offending comments.”
If you’re confused, you’re not alone. The report was so muddled in its focus and conclusions that it’s impossible to figure out what exactly happened.
Initially, the BOC asked for an investigative report by an independent person to see if any of the rumors and allegations had merit. But the final product of that effort reads more like a legal defense for the county than an independent report.
At issue here are allegations that both Yearwood and Clement used racially-charged language when talking about a couple of Barrow employees. The supposed “investigation” couldn’t prove that happened, so it dismissed the allegations in a striking casual tone.
Still, there are serious questions about some of what was allegedly said by county officials. Two county employees said Clement discussed a hanging noose when talking about one black staff member; if that doesn’t fall under the term of “hate” language, nothing does. But the investigator dismissed the matter by saying both sides were “credible” in their comments and that there is no specific evidence of the language.
Two witnesses and nothing credible?
What does become clear in this report, however, is that a seething power struggle is taking place between Chairman Yearwood and HR Director Norma Jean Brown. That the chairman has yelled at Brown on several occasions and made personal comments of a derogatory nature seems clear. And it was Brown who last fall blew the whistle on all of this and led to the investigation in the first place.
Even if the credibility of this report is a whitewash in some respects, it does portray a county government torn asunder by petty, personal relationships and careless language among its top leaders. At best, it shows a county government rolling around in the gutter.
And somehow, sending Chairman Yearwood and director Clements to classes in anger management and sensitivity training seems like too little, too late.
So, what's new... the BOC spending more money to defend the actions of Yearwood... Did you really think the BOC was really going to find out what happened? NO... This was just another way for them to spin it for the County Attorney to defend their actions and bully those who dare not look the other way... This piece of fiction will not last 30 seconds in front of a Court... SO WHAT... The County still has money spend defending the actions of Yearwood... Did someone say defending the pocket book of the county? Maybe someone should defend the County from Yearwood, BOC and its attorney?
I just hope the chairman and Mr. Clements will be required by the board to pay for their anger management and cultural sensitivity classes out of their own pockets. The tax payers should not have to pick up the tab for their stupidity, racism and lack of impulse control!