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Agency won't comment on allegation of racial slurs used in state office

A meeting of the Department of Consumer Credit. (KOKH)

Claims of racial slurs and retaliation brought commissioners of a little-known state agency together Wednesday morning. The commission responsible for oversight of the Department Of Consumer Credit met for a special meeting for the sole purpose of discussing lawsuits filed by two former employees.

The lawsuits were filed in 2016 and allege that the director of the agency used racial slurs to describe both Native American and Hispanic employees. A federal court judge recently refused the state’s attempt to get the lawsuits thrown out writing that the women had presented sufficient facts to prove race-based discrimination and retaliation.

The commission members met behind closed doors in executive session before voting unanimously to resolve the lawsuits. However, the commission did not disclose what resolution meant for the agency.

The executive session included the agency director who is accused of making the racially insensitive comments.

“You’re not going to ask any questions,” chairman Bob Moses told FOX 25 after the meeting adjourned. Moses, an appointed commissioner overseeing a public agency, clarified his statement saying he “cannot comment” on the matter.

The Department of Consumer Credit also said it would not comment on what resolution the agency was seeking in the lawsuit.

FOX 25 asked if anyone had received sensitivity training in the wake of the alleged incident, but the agency did not respond to that question.

FOX 25 also asked if racial slurs were tolerated in the office.

“That would be covered under pending litigation,” Deputy Administrator Ruben Tornini told FOX 25, “I won’t comment on it.”

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