I WAS DEEPLY APPALLED, though not at all surprised, when I learned of the racist, misogynistic, and homophobic comments made by Supervisor Jack Moore. When we founded Pictometry, we instilled respect, tolerance, and fairness as part of the core culture of the company. Our employees knew they could come to work free to express themselves or offer dissenting opinions of management decisions without fear of retaliation. We encouraged alternative opinions and brought diverse viewpoints to bear so that from that open exchange of ideas, the best decisions could be made. Those who work for our community at Town Hall deserve the very same.
The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission serves to ensure that the quintessential American right to work and provide for your family in an environment free from abuse goes unviolated. The EEOC has concluded that there is sufficient evidence that Jack has violated this right. And while this is not yet a determination of guilt, it is the civil law equivalent of a Grand Jury Indictment. Jack Moore will now be on trial. And do not let his lawyers fool you — there are already two lawsuits filed in connection with these horrific comments and actions. These workers are our friends and neighbors who have spent decades serving our community by ensuring our roads are safe, our parks are clean, and our town is a welcoming place to live and raise a family. They have worked under multiple supervisors who never once questioned their work ethic. The facts are clear: these workers were targeted based solely on discriminatory or retaliatory factors.
When Jack cracks jokes about dead, black human beings it disgusts me to my very core. In the wake of the recent events in Charlottesville, it is critically important to make clear that these views have absolutely no place in our community, let alone a work environment. In the words of Barb Bresnan, one of those named in the EEOC complaint, “The hostile work environment stops. That’s [the] number one goal.” This has been going on for far too long and needs to end.
I am reminded of the words of Maya Angelou who said “when someone shows you who they are, believe them.” Two years ago, when Jack explicitly called our black neighbors “city cousins,” he showed us who he is. This week’s revelations confirm that basic nature. And Jack’s intolerance will have serious consequences for our town, beyond the impact on those directly affected. Legal costs and settlement costs could reach into the millions and we will have to foot the bill for Jack’s behavior. And his damage does not stop at these individuals. There are many more complaints pending at the EEOC, at least two lawsuits already filed, more potentially on the way, and nearly twenty other long time employees who have left the town since he has taken office.
Finally, I am deeply bothered by Jack’s attempts to brush this off as disgruntled employees or others who say it is politically motivated. These individuals have over 100-years of combined service to this town, the past 30 of which they have served under Republican supervisors with no issues until Moore started his discriminatory and retaliatory behavior. This isn’t Democrat versus Republican. This is bigotry, discrimination, and bullying versus basic human decency.