MEMPHIS, TN (abc24.com) - The second highest administrator at Memphis City Schools, Dr. Irving Hamer, submitted a letter of resignation after he admittedly made inappropriate comments to a co-worker at an employee gathering.
The incident occurred at the home of Superintendent Dr. Kriner Cash on Feb. 18 when he held a small party for his Executive Cabinet. According to legal documents obtained by ABC 24 News, Dr. Hamer started to make a toast to the group when he made a lewd comment about a colleague's breasts. The woman he referred to, Tiffany Crutchfield, is the Executive Assistant to the Superintendent and was standing in front of Dr. Hamer with two Regional Superintendents when he said, "Are you having a side bar with Ms. Tiffany, don't you know she's married, I know she got some big titties, but she's married."
Hamer resumed his statements to the group, but stopped again to say, "I'm just so distracted by those big titties." At that point Dr. Cash scolded Hamer for his comments. Crutchfield was directed to move out of Hamer's sight, and the event ended a short time later.
Hamer was suspended for the incident, and issued an apology to Crutchfield via email, which Dr. Cash and other top administrators also received. The apology read, in part, "The only explanation for my behavior was my failure to recognize where we were, what we were doing, who was in attendance, and being too familiar with you and our colleagues… I take full responsibility for my comments." Hamer also denied he was under the influence of alcohol, although Dr. Cash made a statement to MCS legal counsel that Hamer's toast was "rambling and incoherent."
Crutchfield filed a formal sexual harassment complaint, adding that she was "appalled" by the nature of Hamer's written apology. In an email to Dr. Cash, Crutchfield stated, "Dr. Hamer is in NO WAY familiar with me under any circumstance… Any conversation that I have or have had with Dr. Hamer is strictly related to work." She added, "Dr. Hamer's 'apology' was written in a very misleading way and I feel that it attacks me personally and represents my character in a negative way."
On March 12, Dr. Hamer submitted a letter of resignation to Superintendent Cash, effective April 30. So far the school district has not commented on whether it has accepted Hamer's resignation.
Dr. Irving Hamer is currently on unpaid leave until March 31.