BANGS — City Attorney Mark Bessent said the city is looking into allegations from the NAACP that Mayor Pro-Tem Marisa Craddock has repeatedly used a racial slur in referring to a black city employee.
Bessent said the city will respond to a July 14 letter from Nelson Linder, president of the Austin branch. The letter, addressed to Bangs Mayor Steve Whittenberg, alleged that Craddock has called 67-year-old maintenance worker Lawrence Crosby by a racial slur “openly and in public” and is “seeking to terminate Mr. Crosby’s employment” because he is black.
Linder’s letter, which described the allegations as “disturbing,” requested a response within 14 days.
“We’re investigating it,” Bessent said. “This is something we’re taking very seriously. At this point we can’t confirm that it happened. We’re not saying it didn’t happen. We just can’t confirm it.”
Craddock, reached by phone Thursday, declined to comment.
Crosby could not be reached for comment.
Renita Sanders, first vice president of the NAACP’s Austin branch, said if the allegations against Craddock are substantiated, the NAACP will ask Craddock to resign from the Bangs City Council.
Any additional action would be based on Crosby’s desires, Sanders said.
She said Crosby told two individuals about the alleged racial slurs, who then contacted the NAACP. She declined to name the two individuals.
“These are still clearly allegations,” Sanders said.
She said the NAACP has spoken with five or six witnesses who back up the allegations, and she and Linder plan to make a trip to Bangs.
She said she hasn’t yet spoken with Crosby. “He actually has someone else speaking for him,” Sanders said. “We will speak to him directly.”