From South Orange VP Sheena Collum:
[Editor’s note: VP Collum made the following statement at the June 27, 2022 Board of Trustees meeting.]
On May 17, 2022, a Village employee reported that a resident had repeatedly made hostile and angry calls to their office which included condescending language referring to the employee as “girl” and then escalated to the following statement directed at the employee and witnessed by others:
You can’t help me stupid n*****.
You’re a dumb n*****.
You’re a privileged n*****.
I’m sick of dealing with all you n*****s in this department and all the n*****s in this town.
After consulting with our legal counsel, Police Chief, and employee the following actions were taken:
- The resident has received formal notice that due to their unacceptable, hostile, and hateful conduct coupled with the Village’s obligation to protect its employees from harassment, the resident is hereby restricted from in-person visitation to Village Offices or engaging in telephonic conversations with Village employees until further notice.
- The resident was advised they could dispute these allegations within 30 days of the notice with a hearing which to-date, has not been requested nor the allegations disputed.
- The resident was also advised should they fail to abide by the instructions and present themselves at Village Offices, our staff have been instructed to call the South Orange Police Department and the Village will initiate charges for criminal trespass in addition to any other legal means that may be appropriate.
In closing, as Village President, I can assure you that we will always protect our employees from this type of garbage behavior and will take any and all necessary legal means to ensure a safe work environment. Words and actions have consequences and my colleagues on the Board of Trustees join me in fully supporting the actions that have been taken to date.