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Hot Springs exec resigns after remark directed toward black resident of gated community

By Jaime Dunaway

This article was originally published June 14, 2018 at 4:30 a.m. Updated June 14, 2018 at 6:04 p.m.

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Hot Springs Assistant City Manager Lance Spicer (left) confers with City Manager David Frasher before a board meeting Tuesday night at City Hall. Frasher resigned during the meeting after allegations were aired that he made a racially insensitive remark to a black Hot Springs School District administrator last week.

Frasher

Hot Springs' city manager resigned Tuesday night, days after he shouted "You don't live here" at a black school district administrator in the gated community where both men live, according to documents from the city.

David Frasher, who is white, tendered his resignation during a nearly three-hour executive session, Mayor Pat McCabe told The Sentinel-Record of Hot Springs. The Hot Springs Board of Directors discussed disciplining Frasher for the June 7 comment he made to Lloyd Jackson, deputy superintendent for the Hot Springs School District.

Frasher told the board Tuesday night that he didn't want the incident to interfere with the progress the city has made since he began working as city manager in March 2016.

[DOCUMENT: Read the full statement]

According to a statement Monday from the city manager's office, Frasher said his residence in the Red Oak Ridge subdivision is next to a community pool. Over the past year, his family had reportedly experienced trespassing, vandalism, loud parties, trash dumping and gunfire at the gated community off Carpenter Dam Road, the statement said.

"There was little security, and it was up to us to monitor our own neighborhood," Frasher said in the statement.

Frasher was walking with his 4-year-old daughter when a string of unknown vehicles sped out of the community pool's driveway. Frasher made the "You don't live here" comment as Jackson drove by with his wife, according to the statement.

Frasher said he has apologized to the Jacksons and that his wife has invited them over for dinner.

In an email to the Board of Directors, Jackson called the apology "disingenuous" and said it was followed by excuses for Frasher's treatment of his family.

"I shared with him that just like past experiences caused him to respond in a particular way, our past experiences cause us to question his motive and reasoning for being ugly to us as neighbors," Jackson said in the email.

[DOCUMENT: Read Jackson's email]

"I shared my disappointment in him as a neighbor and certainly as a representative of our city. Our city manager represents our city at all times, especially when interacting with citizens of the community."

The Board of Directors unanimously requested Frasher's resignation Tuesday and subsequently named Deputy City Manager Bill Burrough as interim city manager.

"I am mindful, and I know all of you are, that when we make mistakes in life -- and I made one the other day -- sometimes the price of healing simply means it makes you less effective in your role," Frasher told the board Tuesday.

According to severance terms in Frasher's employment agreement, he is entitled to one year's salary and benefits. The board approved a $170,856 salary for him at the start of the year.

Burrough and City Attorney Brian Albright said Wednesday the exact amount of Frasher's severance payout won't be known until next week.

"We're still working on an exact figure," Albright said. "We have a good idea, but we'll have to sit down with David and have him sign off on it."

Frasher took the job in Hot Springs after the Oregon City Commission fired him the previous October. A letter provided by the city to The Sentinel-Record last year attributed Frasher's termination to a strained relationship with the commission after allegations that he made "racially insensitive remarks."

A memo detailing the investigation into the Oregon City incident was considered when the Hot Springs Board of Directors hired Frasher in January 2016, City Director Larry Williams said Wednesday.

Williams said he remembered the board discussing W. Michael Gillette's memo prior to hiring Frasher. Williams said he recalled reviewing the memo and asking Frasher about it during the interview process.

"His answers obviously satisfied us," Williams said. "We voted to hire him. I don't believe then or now that David Frasher is a racist. I know he deeply regrets the events of the last few days. The fact is, if you are a public official you are always on duty."

Information for this article was contributed by David Showers of The Sentinel-Record in Hot Springs.

State Desk on 06/14/2018

Print Headline: Hot Springs exec is ousted for words to black neighbor

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Comments on: Hot Springs exec resigns after remark directed toward black resident of gated community

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RBear says... June 14, 2018 at 6:24 a.m.

The fact that Frasher didn't recognize the DEPUTY SUPERINTENDENT of the city's school district is disturbing to start with. It makes you wonder how involved he is with the community and how much he works with all the other agencies of the city. But then you look at his past in Oregon City and prior interactions with the Jackson family and you have to wonder if Frasher is truly apologetic. This isn't a case of mistaken identity. There's a deeper issue rooted in this incident.

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PopMom says... June 14, 2018 at 7:10 a.m.

wrt,

"Nothing wrong?" He verbally assaulted and harassed a neighbor for no reason other than the color of his skin. "Revenge"? Civilized people don't go seeking "revenge." Rasher needs to look in the mirror if he thinks that there are trashy people in his neighborhood.

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DoubleBlind says... June 14, 2018 at 7:39 a.m.

The guy is getting 170K severance after this?!! He should absolutely be terminated, but the people of Hot Springs should sue to recoup their money. How is he entitled to severance when he RESIGNED?!! Horrendous.

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cputzi says... June 14, 2018 at 7:43 a.m.

Why does he get severance pay. Arkansas is an will employment state. And yes it is racism and just plan hate!!!!!!

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arkateacher54 says... June 14, 2018 at 9:04 a.m.

There is nothing in this article to indicate that Frasher knew or didn't know who Jackson was, or that he knew or didn't know that Jackson lived in the community, or that he had any prior interaction with Jackson. It doesn't say that Jackson's skin color had anything to do with what Frasher shouted - that is an assumption. What it does say is that there had been continued negative and even dangerous activity near Frasher's home. It is only natural that he be frustrated with this - you would be too - and when unknown vehicles sped out of the pool area, he likely thought, Great, here we go again, people that don't belong here causing trouble. Was he shouting at Jackson or the string of cars as a whole? It doesn't say. Jackson's comments show him to be an condescending and arrogant person, likely the kind walking around daring anyone to knock the chip off his shoulder. Everyone is so ready to shout racism today, even people that don't know diddly squat about what happened. As for not recognizing Jackson as deputy superintendent, there are 4 or 5 school districts in Hot Springs. I'm a teacher and I couldn't tell you who our deputy superintendent is. As for Frasher's severance package, I deeply resent the filthy lucre that government officials vote to give themselves. That's all government is these days, an opportunity to pad wallets of the crafty and conscienceless.

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RBear says... June 14, 2018 at 9:14 a.m.

Arkateacher goes to great lengths to justify Frasher’s actions. I think it goes back to my point as to why the city manager of HS doesn’t recognize the deputy superintendent of the same city. Sounds like Frasher never really engaged with the community, which is often the start of racial divisions.

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LRAttorneyCrime says... June 14, 2018 at 9:26 a.m.

RBear..."Sounds like Frasher never really engaged with the community, which is often the start of racial divisions."

Kind of off the cuff last minute statement. Can you elaborate further, as I am a little confused how you came to this determination?

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GeneralMac says... June 14, 2018 at 10:33 a.m.

"deputy superintendent "

reminds me of all the people at Walmart who wear name tags proclaiming they are.."Assistant Manager"

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GeneralMac says... June 14, 2018 at 10:36 a.m.

..........." I'm a teacher and I couldn't tell you who our deputy superintendent is"....

But big mouth, know it all RBear has to try and discredit a teacher who actually is from Hot Springs.

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mrcharles says... June 14, 2018 at 11:17 a.m.

No one is giving frasher credit for not shooting them there suspicious blacks, after all driving while black raises a red flag immediately. As was succinctly pointed out, recent problems, a car full of blacks, though he did not know whether they lived there are not he just played the odds that they were either black panthers or thugs or gang members he decided to play the odds and think like a arkansasteacher ILK, of course blacks dont live in that neighborhood. I agree Jackson had the opportunity to put a sign on his car with a photo of his drivers license showing his address and stating Do not be afraid I am one of those good blacks and dont mean to be uppity or cause trouble, and I apologize for any inconvenience and/or unjustified fear on your part!"

jackson and his family should just accept the ways and thought of a red state like arkansas, he of course has the god given right to move away if he dont like the way he is treated after all he has choices.

Uncle joe brought up the What if frasher and jackson conspired to allow frasher to get out of a job he hated and to get a tub of money? We dont have any facts to prove that but what if and could be, just sayin.

right wing just doesnt like being PC, and no one was hurt in this incident .

has anybody notice our education system appears to be going downhill.

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