BANGS - NAACP representatives will hold a press conference on Aug. 28 at Bangs City Hall to address an allegation that the city’s mayor pro-tem has used a racial slur in addressing a black city employee, an NAACP official said Wednesday.
Renita Sanders, first vice president of the NAACP Austin branch, said she and vice president Nelson Linder will be in Bangs for the 1 p.m. press conference and will read statements from seven to eight witnesses claiming they heard Mayor Pro-Tem Marisa Craddock use the racial slur.
Sanders said plans are for the witnesses, as well as city employee Lawrence Crosby, to attend. Crosby is a 67-year-old city maintenance worker who, the complaint alleges, was the subject of the racial slurs.
Sanders said the NAACP has instructed Crosby not to speak with Bangs city officials, and it has not told Bangs officials the names of its witnesses.
Bangs City Attorney Mark Bessent declined to comment Wednesday.
Sanders said Bessent invited NAACP representatives to come to Bangs City Hall on Aug. 22, but they are declining the invitation because of their plans for the Aug. 28press conference.
Bessent said earlier that city officials could not confirm whether Craddock made the statements. He said city officials had spoken with Craddock about the allegation but would not comment on Craddock’s response.
“We’re not saying it didn’t happen. We just can’t confirm it,” Bessent said earlier.
Bangs officials were notified of the allegation against Craddock in a July 14 letter from the NAACP. The letter, addressed to Bangs Mayor Steve Whittenberg, alleged that Craddock has called Crosby by a racial slur “openly and in public” and is “seeking to terminate Mr. Crosby’s employment” because he is black.
Whittenberg wrote a letter to the NAACP on July 25 stating, “The City of Bangs takes these allegations very seriously and we are conducting our own investigation.
“As of this writing, based on the information provided in your above referenced letter, we cannot confirm that Mrs. Craddock made these statements.”
Craddock has declined to comment.