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)

By all accounts, tensions between Mottley and some others at the district grew following the June resignation.

Mottley also claims board member Robert Wershay used obscene language and threatened his position with the district when he refused to provide the new board treasurer with access to information that had been restricted under prior district policy, something he said he brought to Peden’s attention.

Peden and Wershay did not respond to emailed questions about the incident by deadline.

“The relationship between Mr. Mottley and the firefighters was stressful,” Douglas said. “There was constant irritation between them. So much so that all communication between them came to a halt. All IT issues had to be sent to me, and I would have to contact Mr. Mottley.”

Mottley said he began discovering what he believed to be intentional tampering with the system he was responsible for and was concerned that some were attempting to discredit him.

One of the most concerning incidents occurred in early July, according to Mottley, who said he was called to the district for a problem and found that a cable to the security surveillance equipment had been physically unplugged.

Mottley claims he brought the incident to Peden’s attention and requested in writing that the door to the server room be locked, something Peden said she does not remember.

In emails provided by Mottley that appear to have been sent by Peden to board members, ESD staff and C3, Peden addresses the security issue hours after the vandalism was reported to her.

“Please clean this up and lock this area so no one with out a ‘need to know’ gains access and that should be with a board member present,” Peden reportedly instructs Vinson. “It appears as our attempts to be open and treat all with respect is not working.”

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