Saturday, March 6, 2004

Worker faces discipline over slurs on city radios

The Cincinnati Enquirer

A Cincinnati city radio technician accused of making racial and violent remarks on the city's police and fire channels will remain on leave without pay until a disciplinary hearing Wednesday.

The arrest of William Westerkamp prompted Vice Mayor Alicia Reece to call for his firing and Councilwoman Laketa Cole to introduce a zero-tolerance policy for city employees accused of racially insensitive behavior.

Westerkamp, 32, was arrested Tuesday and charged with disrupting public services and unauthorized use of property for the Feb. 22 statements about African-Americans, which lasted about 45 minutes. He was released from jail after agreeing to return to court.

He also faces administrative charges of failure of good behavior, neglect of duty and excessive absenteeism. City Manager Valerie Lemmie, in a memo Friday, said the "entire city of Cincinnati organization" strongly condemns the alleged remarks.

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