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Mansfield town manager resigns amid racism accusations

MANSFIELD - Mansfield’s town manger resigned in July following accusations of making inappropriate and racist comments.

11 department heads signed a multi-page letter to the town council detailing instances they believe former town manager Derrik Kennedy failed to be impartial with his hiring and discipline and created a hostile work environment.

“A letter of no confidence by every single department head is extraordinarily unusual and it raised real alarm bells, deputy mayor Toni Moran said.

The letter claims Kennedy hired Joshua Putnam as assistant town manager and raised concerns about Putnam’s qualifications for the job. In the letter the department heads say Kennedy and Putnam have worked together in the past and Kennedy failed to address inappropriate comments they say Putnam made.

The letter stating in one example Putnam referred to a female department head as a “f*cking c*nt” and a “f*cking b*tch” “within earshot” of Kennedy.

The letter also accuses Kennedy himself of using demeaning words like “idiot” and “ignorant” and on May 9th was overheard saying “I hate black people” following a meeting with an NAACP chapter member.

“The ones about women were very fully substantiated, there is some question about the context of the racial comments,” Moran said.

Moran added regardless of the context, town leaders will not tolerate any racist or sexist comments.

Putnam resigned July first and Kennedy resigned two weeks later amid the town’s review of the allegations made.

Kennedy has since left the area but in his July resignation letter he denied having any knowledge of the department heads’ concern and says the content in the letter were “gross mischaracterizations of conversations or complete mistruths and insults,”.

John Carrington has continued to server as interim town manager as the town continues to search for a permanent town manager.

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