Warren Mayor Jim Fouts responds to former diversity coordinator's allegations
Diversity coordinator resigns after less than a year at Warren City Hall
A new controversy is brewing at Warren City Hall over the resignation of the diversity coordinator.
In his resignation letter, the former diversity coordinator made some stunning allegations, and now, Mayor Jim Fouts is responding.
Gregory Murray didn't quite make it a full year working at Warren City Hall.
"I thought it would be a genuine opportunity," Murray said.
But now Murray claims his position was nothing more than a huge sham. He insisted Fouts had no intentions of focusing on diversity within city departments.
"The mayor came in and said that we would have to put diversity on the back burner until after the 2019 election because he feared a backlash by white voters if he moved too aggressively with diversity," Murray said.
Last January, Fouts introduced Murray in the newly appointed position amid scrutiny for controversial audio recordings in which Fouts allegedly made insulting comments about blacks and women.
Fouts denied that he made the remarks, but many questioned whether Murray's role was a way to smooth things over.
"It was about money, and as far as I'm concerned, that was the main difference," Fouts said.
Fouts said over the phone that Murray refused to do any other duties, and when asked to take on more responsibilities, he became insubordinate.
"He felt he was over me," Fouts said.
Fouts said diversity has and continues to be a top priority under his administration, adding it's something city leaders worked on well before Murray's appointment.
"I am the only mayor in the metro area to have a diversity position," Fouts said.
Murray accused Fouts of wanting him to help fundraise for the mayor's campaign, something he said he refused to do.
"His reaction to my not being willing to buy and sell tickets, I think, was the tipping point for him," Murray said.
Fouts said that's far from the truth.
"That's totally untrue," Fouts said. "I've never asked Mr. Murray to campaign at all for me. I've never asked him to buy a ticket."
A city attorney also denied Murray's claim that he was asked to buy and sell fundraising tickets. The city said Murray never expressed that he wanted extra money for doing his job until they received the resignation letter.
Murray insisted money had nothing to do with his position and the decision to resign.