Memphis, TN -- More trouble for the Shelby County Election Commission, as an African-American Commissioner wants to know why an e-mail about an African-American employee's sick leave request was only forwarded to White Commissioners.
"When you just copy the White Republicans regarding an issue with a Black Democrat, that's a real serious problem for me." said Commissioner Norma Lester. "A real serious problem."
abc24.com obtained a copy of the e-mail, in which the employee asks for a 1/2 day sick leave.
In the e-mail, Election Administrator Richard Holden tells the employee his request will be approved if he completes six election-related tasks.
"I have logged over 300 hours of overtime for the past three months." the employee writes. "If this is the position of the Board and yourself then I will take actions need to ensure that my time is not abused."
"An employee requested time off and the response I thought was very inappropriate, very condensing, and mean spirited." Lester said.
"You are asking the wrong person, I don't know the answer to your question." Holden said when questioned about why the e-mail was only forwarded to White Republican Commissioners.
"I didn't bring it up, it is not my issue." Holden went on to say. "You are asking the wrong person."
When pressed, Holden continued.
"What part of you are asking the wrong person are you having trouble comprehending." he said.
"Even if there was no malice intend, which I do, feel that there was, the fact that it happened is just not a good taste in the rest of the members on the committee." Lester said.
"Generally things like that go to myself and the chair." said Lester. "I don't know what happened this time, that the Black Commissioners totally was left off, period." said Lester. "That just should not have been."
"This is not the first time I voiced a concern about unfair treatment of employees but this is certainly the most alarming one." Lester added.