Lumpkin council woman responds to racism accusation - WTVM.com-Columbus, GA News Weather & Sports

Lumpkin council woman responds to racism accusation

LUMPKIN, GA (WTVM) -

It's the first time we're hearing from the city official in Stewart County accused of making a racist remark about the city's black mayor.

Stone, who is white, is accused of using the 'n-word' to describe Mayor Charles Gibson in a private conversation about city business that she had with newly appointed fire chief, Steven Jordan. 

On the advice of the police chief, Jordan wrote up the language in an official incident report. It was filed on June 4.

Stone was absent from Monday's city council meeting where the president of the local NAACP chapter was planning to formally ask for her resignation.

She was unable to speak to WTVM in person, citing health reasons, but her friend Laura Larmore read a statement on her behalf:

"I, Debbie Stone, have only had one conversation with officer and fire chief, Jordan. We only discussed the fire truck and fire station, as I was surprised we hired a new fire chief. Mayor Charles Gibson has posted numerous things about me on his Facebook page, but there is nothing negative about him on mine.  He has also threatened to have me arrested for trespassing on city property numerous times. I have done nothing but my job as a city council person."

Regarding her use of the n-word, Larmore said, "[Stone] says she does not remember even talking about Charles Gibson to [Jordan]."

Lumpkin resident, Martha Lattimore, also spoke in Stone's defense saying,"Ms. Stone got up there for the reason of helping us black people, because our mayor, who is a black guy, doesn't do anything for us."

The women speaking on behalf of Stone also provided documentation showing her accuser, Steven Jordan, was involved in a questionable situation while working for a different Georgia law enforcement agency in 2009 that led to his termination.

He was accused of becoming uncooperative with DFCS regarding the return of children for whom he was serving as a foster parent.  They also read that he had overstepped his bounds as a sheriff's deputy and stalked the biological parent in an effort to prove she was a bad mother.

These were two in a series of complaints made to the Georgia Peace Officer Standards and Training Council (P.O.S.T.), but Jordan was eventually cleared of all the accusations.

"If I had done anything illegal, working for a police department or sheriff's office, I would have a criminal arrest record. Georgia P.O.S.T. would not clear my name up and say everything is dismissed," said Jordan.

Jordan said his reluctance to return the children to their mother stemmed from his belief that they were being abused by her.

These same documents about Jordan's background were circulated among council members prior to Monday's meeting.  Jordan points out that the paperwork includes the original complaints and the final disposition, but there are several other documents omitted, including his written response to the complaints. He said many of the accusations against him cannot be understood in the correct context without those responses. Jordan said that it is within these missing pages that the reader would see why the P.O.S.T. Council ultimately decided not to revoke his law enforcement certification.

Regarding Stone's distribution of his background files, Jordan said, "None of these facts are related to my integrity, credibility or honesty. These are merely personal attacks against me to try and discredit me."

The Lumpkin mayor and the police chief said they continue to stand behind Jordan.

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