Weatherford Democrat

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March 17, 2013

Culprit in racial slur painted on ESD walls remains a mystery

Former contractor says he was targeted, while ESD officials have their doubts

By CHRISTIN COYNE

Six months later, who painted a racial slur and obscene language inside the ESD No. 1 administrative building last year in an area serviced by an African American contractor is a question that remains unanswered.

Xavier Lamar Mottley, the district’s IT contractor at the time, recently spoke with the Democrat about the incident, saying he believes he was targeted because some firefighters didn’t want him working for the ESD.

He also claimed he and another IT company officer with C3 Computer Corporation repeatedly raised the issue of security in the office prior to the incident but were ignored, and that the ESD’s contract with his company was terminated following the vandalism.

However, district officials denied Mottley’s claims about security issues, raised the issue of Mottley’s criminal background and called into question his activities at the district building when the vandalism and theft were discovered.

Vandalism

When ESD board president Rena Peden made a trip out of town in August, “all hell broke loose,” Mottley said.

The Sunday evening of Aug. 19, Mottley said he received a notification through the Network Operations Center in New Jersey that a primary server was down.

Because the issue had to be physically dealt with and would prevent users from logging in the next morning when reporting for work at the ESD, he said he called company Chief Operating Officer Phyllis Johnson about the issue and was told to respond.

According to Mottley, he arrived around 9:30 p.m. and used his access number to enter the building.

Upstairs, inside the IT room, he said he found a racial slur, as well as a vulgarity followed by the name of his company painted across the walls and door.

“It definitely made me feel like an animal,” Mottley said, adding that he wondered if he was in danger.

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