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.
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.
"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