Publisher’s Note: This story contains offensive language. WLAF does not publish this language lightly. The allegations made are against an elected official, and WLAF believes the community has a right to see those allegations in an unfiltered manner. The words printed in this story are not meant to offend but to inform the public of the allegations.
LAFOLLETTE, TN (WLAF) – As LaFollette Mayor Mike Stanfield’s criminal charges await disposition, other legal matters are piling up for him.
Last week, Daniel Foster, a terminated city employee, alleged Stanfield made racist remarks to him while he was a city employee. Foster was fired from the city earlier in the month, during a meeting in which city administrator Jimmy Jeffries was also fired while the other city department heads were retained.
On Thursday, Foster filed an amended discrimination charge with the Tennessee Human Rights Commission.
In the complaint, Foster alleged Stanfield “harassed” him throughout 2020. The alleged harassment came in the form of racist remarks targeted at Foster, the complaint said.
Last January, Stanfield allegedly referred to Foster as “Alfalfa and Buckwheat.” In June 2020, Stanfield allegedly made another racial slur. “I better hurry up and get some watermelon before Daniel (Foster) gets up here and eats it all up” Stanfield allegedly said, according to the complaint.
The mayor, who is no stranger to controversy, is further accused of intimidating Foster and hindering him from doing his job as the city codes officer throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, the complaint said. Stanfield “disobeyed” the executive order of Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee in March by defying Foster’s authority as the codes officer. In addition to racist remarks and a disregard for Foster’s role with the city, Stanfield is further accused of making physical threats to Foster and inducing a hostile work environment.
In the last year, Stanfield allegedly made attempts to remove Foster from his job. Foster believed a racial bias was behind these attempts. Each time Stanfield attempted to remove Foster, he was blocked by the city council, according to Foster.
But on Jan. 5, with a new council in place, Foster was terminated, without a reason, the complaint said.
Foster said he made his concerns of harassment and racism known at the city level but Stanfield’s behavior continued.
These are not new allegations for Stanfield. He is currently under a criminal indictment for allegedly threatening other city employees and using his office for personal benefit. (WLAF NEWS PUBLISHED 01/25/2021- 6AM)