Spokane Transit Authority investigating HR Director's Facebook c - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Spokane Transit Authority investigating HR Director's Facebook comments

Posted: Updated:
SPOKANE, Wash. -

The Spokane Transit Authority is launching an investigation after the union representing bus workers, called out the Human Resources Director for racist remarks.

Amalgamated Transit Union Local 1015 President Thomas Leighty says they are concerned with the agency's commitment to being an equal opportunity employer.

The comments were brought to the unions attention last week on Facebook. The public post was made in January 2017 by the human resources director at STA. Leighty says it doesn't matter if it was a private or public post, it's disturbing.

Spokane Transit Authority's Director of Human Resources Nancy Williams shared a post on her Facebook page about a horrific news story that made headlines.  The story is about a special-needs man that was tortured in Chicago while his attackers streamed it on Facebook. Williams wrote, "Thought I would see more outrage on Facebook about this... these “kids” are despicable animals."

Leighty showed KHQ screenshots. "While we think that remark alone is disturbing and might consider it merely a poor choice of words, but in the thread of comments that follows, Mrs. Williams makes her feelings crystal clear by cheering on commenters making undenieably racist remarks,” he said.

For example, a comment was made on Williams post by another woman that said in part quote, “If you don't teach primates at an early age, (no matter what skin they are in) they continue to be non-civilized."

“Not only did Mrs. Williams not intervene, she liked the comment and when another commenter disputed it, she came to the defense of the racist commenter, saying that she agreed and that a lot of other commenters did too," said Leighty.

The union is now calling for Williams' resignation from her position immediately.  "There is no room for this type of bigotry, in the private sector and there should be no room for it in our public institutions,” said Leighty.

KHQ reached out to Williams by phone and by email and have not heard back.

The Spokane Transit Authority issued a statement saying, “Spokane Transit has an unwavering commitment to diversity and non-discrimination in each and every level of the organization. From our hiring practices to our transit planning outreach, or the services we provide to thousands of people every day, our goal is to be a source of pride for the region.  We can only be that by ensuring an environment where everyone is treated equally, and with dignity.

Through today’s ATU 1015 press conference, we were made aware of a claim of discrimination and STA Board leadership will take immediate action to investigate.”

Beth Bousley, Director of Communications and Customer Service at STA says Williams has not been put on administrative leave. The board is meeting to figure out the next steps.

Leighty says the STA's Board of Directors meeting is next week on Thursday. They are going to be there to make sure that the board brings forward their concerns.

  • Most Popular StoriesMost Popular StoriesMore>>

  • Spokane Police arrest suspect from hit-and-run crash on South Hill

    Spokane Police arrest suspect from hit-and-run crash on South Hill

    Sunday, October 21 2018 12:51 AM EDT2018-10-21 04:51:56 GMT

    SPOKANE, Wash. - Spokane Police have successfully located and arrested a suspect from a hit-and-run incident on the South Hill Saturday morning. After crashing a Corvette into an SUV near 53rd and Regal, 36-year-old Kristopher Riley fled the scene on foot and left his passenger inside the vehicle. Police say the passenger of the Corvette and driver of the SUV were hospitalized with serious injuries.

    >>

    SPOKANE, Wash. - Spokane Police have successfully located and arrested a suspect from a hit-and-run incident on the South Hill Saturday morning. After crashing a Corvette into an SUV near 53rd and Regal, 36-year-old Kristopher Riley fled the scene on foot and left his passenger inside the vehicle. Police say the passenger of the Corvette and driver of the SUV were hospitalized with serious injuries.

    >>
  • Spokane Valley Police ask for help identifying missing property

    Spokane Valley Police ask for help identifying missing property

    Saturday, October 20 2018 8:22 PM EDT2018-10-21 00:22:23 GMT

    Spokane Valley Police detectives are asking for help to identify some unique items recovered during an investigation. The items are potentially liked to several storage unit burglaries last December on the South Hill. A suspect pawned the items, but a search of reported stolen property to identify the owner(s) has been unsuccessful. It's not known if the items were part of the South Hill burglaries or were stolen at a different time and place.

    >>

    Spokane Valley Police detectives are asking for help to identify some unique items recovered during an investigation. The items are potentially liked to several storage unit burglaries last December on the South Hill. A suspect pawned the items, but a search of reported stolen property to identify the owner(s) has been unsuccessful. It's not known if the items were part of the South Hill burglaries or were stolen at a different time and place.

    >>
  • Community honors fallen K-9 Laslo

    Community honors fallen K-9 Laslo

    Saturday, October 20 2018 9:30 PM EDT2018-10-21 01:30:41 GMT

    Otis Orchards, Wash. Dozens of people came to Ponti Veterinary Hospital in Otis Orchards to pay their final respects to Deputy K-9 Laslo. Some brought the American flag and the thin blue line flag which flapped in the wind. Deputy vehicles lined the side of the building ready to give Laslo one last send off. Laslo had a stellar career in law enforcement the former deputy apprehended nearly 500 suspects in the four years he served on the force. On the night of Laslo's crime-fighting...

    >>

    Otis Orchards, Wash. Dozens of people came to Ponti Veterinary Hospital in Otis Orchards to pay their final respects to Deputy K-9 Laslo. Some brought the American flag and the thin blue line flag which flapped in the wind. Deputy vehicles lined the side of the building ready to give Laslo one last send off. Laslo had a stellar career in law enforcement the former deputy apprehended nearly 500 suspects in the four years he served on the force. On the night of Laslo's crime-fighting...

    >>
HD DOPPLER 6i
/
  • Top Stories from KHQHomeMore>>

  • Mega Millions players ponder how to spend record $1.6B prize

    Mega Millions players ponder how to spend record $1.6B prize

    Sunday, October 21 2018 12:51 PM EDT2018-10-21 16:51:09 GMT

    CHICAGO (AP) - With the Mega Millions lottery jackpot at a record $1.6 billion, people are snapping up tickets across the U.S. The Powerball jackpot also has climbed. It's up to an estimated $620 million for Wednesday's drawing. That would make it the fifth-largest jackpot in U.S. history. But much of the focus has been on Tuesday's Mega Millions drawing and what would be the largest jackpot prize in U.S. history.  

    >>

    CHICAGO (AP) - With the Mega Millions lottery jackpot at a record $1.6 billion, people are snapping up tickets across the U.S. The Powerball jackpot also has climbed. It's up to an estimated $620 million for Wednesday's drawing. That would make it the fifth-largest jackpot in U.S. history. But much of the focus has been on Tuesday's Mega Millions drawing and what would be the largest jackpot prize in U.S. history.  

    >>
  • One man dead, another arrested after shooting near Post Falls

    One man dead, another arrested after shooting near Post Falls

    Sunday, October 21 2018 10:57 AM EDT2018-10-21 14:57:39 GMT

    POST FALLS, Idaho - Kootenai County Deputies arrested a man for involuntary manslaughter after they say he shot and killed another man Saturday evening near Post Falls. Deputies responded to reports of a shooting on Gallatin Way near Post Falls just before 7 pm. Deputies and medical personnel arrived and found a man, identified as Tyler S. Liles, with a single gunshot wound.

    >>

    POST FALLS, Idaho - Kootenai County Deputies arrested a man for involuntary manslaughter after they say he shot and killed another man Saturday evening near Post Falls. Deputies responded to reports of a shooting on Gallatin Way near Post Falls just before 7 pm. Deputies and medical personnel arrived and found a man, identified as Tyler S. Liles, with a single gunshot wound.

    >>
  • Spokane Police searching for suspect in early morning downtown stabbing

    Spokane Police searching for suspect in early morning downtown stabbing

    Sunday, October 21 2018 10:35 AM EDT2018-10-21 14:35:46 GMT

    SPOKANE, Wash. - One person was taken to the hospital after being stabbed in downtown Spokane early Sunday morning and police are still looking for a suspect.  Spokane Police say they received a report of a stabbing near Sprague and Washington just before 1 am on Sunday. Arriving officers found a man who had been stabbed in a parking lot near the intersection.  

    >>

    SPOKANE, Wash. - One person was taken to the hospital after being stabbed in downtown Spokane early Sunday morning and police are still looking for a suspect.  Spokane Police say they received a report of a stabbing near Sprague and Washington just before 1 am on Sunday. Arriving officers found a man who had been stabbed in a parking lot near the intersection.  

    >>