Monday, August 3, 2015

Race lingers in Bryant's apology

Latrice Bryant apologizes for racial statements, says she was reacting to being "cornered" by aggressive white men

Race lingers in Bryant's apology

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Latrice Bryant, City Councilman W. Wilson Goode Jr.'s aide who caused a stir this month with her reaction to a Fox 29 television investigation of her work hours and time sheets, issued an apology yesterday for holding up hand-written signs in City Council likening Fox 29 to the Ku Klux Klan.

In her letter to Goode, she called her behavior at a Sept. 18 Council meeting "inappropriate and inexcusable," but also said she was reacting to being "cornered" by two white men, Fox 29 reporter Jeff Cole and his cameraman. That's "apparently why you, as a Black man and a public servant, were compelled to intervene and stop what appeared to be two-on-one assaultive behavior," Bryant said in her letter. Goode stepped between Fox 29 and Goode that day and warned: "Don't you ever disrespect a black woman like that again."

Bryant also chided Fox 29 for questioning her time sheets during Council's summer recess, "a period in which I was not even contractually required to come to work."

That left City Council's chief accounting officer, Anne Kelly-King, scratching her head Monday morning.

"If you're a city employee, there is no contract, and you're expected to work 37.5 hours a week or use some sort of paid time off," such as vacation, personal or sick leave, Kelly-King said.

Bryant's letter was accompanied by one from her lawyer, Michael Coard, which questioned the media's handling of the issue. Read both letters here.

Click here for Philly.com's politics page.

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The Philadelphia Inquirer's Chris Hepp, Tricia Nadolny, Julia Terruso, and Claudia Vargas take you inside Philadelphia's City Hall.

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