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

(Continued)

Mottley had been a significant help to the district in the past, from helping the district out of a difficult situation created by a former IT company, to providing some services without charge, to instituting a 24-hour help line, according to former district officials.

However, there remained some dissent among some on the operations side of the district that Mottley should not have returned to work for the district.

Mottley said his background and home address were researched by some volunteers with the ESD, something he found intimidating.

He didn’t report the issue to superiors, but it was well-known within the district at the time that some firefighters had issues with Mottley’s background, former employees and district officials who spoke with the Democrat, said.

One firefighter, who asked not to be named, confirmed that Mottley’s background was an issue for some firefighters, and he believed some were attempting to discredit Mottley based on things the firefighter witnessed, such as calls reporting down Internet connection when he was able to access it.

Former ESD Board President Greg Martin said no issues regarding Mottley’s services to the district were brought to his attention.

Martin resigned and was replaced in early July by Peden, who was appointed by county commissioners to the board in February 2012.

Security

Mottley and Johnson told the Democrat that they raised the issue of securing the IT room with Peden prior to the Aug. 19 vandalism incident. However, current district officials dispute that account.

Assistant Chief Mike Plumlee, who took on IT responsibilities with the district after the ESD management change that summer, said the room was locked with a key at the time and, following the departure of the district administrator in June, the room was re-keyed.

Peden said she does not remember Mottley raising the issue of security for the room housing the district’s servers.

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