Horry County sheriff responds to 'employment discriminatory' allegations

Horry County sheriff responds to 'employment discriminatory' allegations

HORRY COUNTY, SC (WMBF) - A man claiming to be the president of the Conway branch NAACP has requested an investigation into the Horry County Sheriff's Office.

Abdullah Mustafa claimed he is president of the branch and alleges the sheriff's office partakes in “ongoing employment discriminatory practices, disparate treatment, violation of the fourteenth amendment, violation of Title VI which prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color and national origin in programs and activities receiving federal financial assistance, violation of Title VII prohibits racial discrimination in employment, and the Civil Rights Act of 1991.”

Sheriff Phillip Thompson said he looks forward and welcomes an investigation into the organization.

Thompson said he was shocked when he first heard about the complaint Wednesday.

“I couldn't imagine something being said or those accusations being made because I have never had a complaint, or anyone come to me with these complaints or any supervisor come to me with an issue,” said Thompson.

In the formal complaint, Mustafa claims of the 96 officers employed by the Horry County Sheriff's Office, only 14 are African-American. Mustafa alleges Sheriff Phillip Thompson has never hired a black female office during his tenure, according to the report.

“The office has about 400 employees; we have a total of 35 African American females working within this organization,” Thompson said.

The complaint mentions more than a handful of Horry County Sheriff's Office employees who reportedly have were not given promotions or granted requests, due to discrimination.

“Of the five people mentioned [in the complaint], four of the five folks contacted me today,” said Thompson.

“Two came in, very upset and told me that they don't understand why their name was mentioned.

"Another called from vacation to tell me he didn't understand why his name was used,” he said. “He's cut his vacation short to come back and talk about it,” Thompson added.

Billy Monckton of Monckton, Hembree, Mureddu, & Humphries Law Firm based in Myrtle Beach told WMBF News he is representing four people listed in the complaint letter.

Monckton released the following statement:

I, Billy Monckton, represent Horry County Sheriff's Deputies Roy Hemingway, Bobby Moore, Tony Gerald, and Oliver Parmley with regards to a letter dated March 13, 2015, sent to United States Attorney Bill Nettles by Abullah Mustafa of the Conway Branch of the NAACP.

My clients have not met with nor spoke with Mr. Mustafa regarding the allegations in his letter. My client's never authorized their names to be used in this letter. After reviewing the allegations associated with each deputy they vehemently deny the allegation and state that the allegations are inaccurate and completely unfounded and not based in fact.

They intend by and through me to contact the United States attorney Bill Nettles and confirm the information stated above.

The complaint letter listed Hemingway, Moore, Gerald, and Parmley as African American deputies within the department were either allegedly treated unfairly or overlooked for promotions.

Other employees referred to in the letter are not represented by Monckton at this time.

"I would never mistreat anybody, any person, any employee. Nobody. And I feel like they have attacked me and this office," stated Thompson.

Thompson said he has not heard from the Department of Justice pertaining to the letter.

WMBF News reached out to Mustafa, the author of the letter, but attempts were unsuccessful.

WMBF News also learned there's some debate about Mustafa's role within the Conway NAACP.

WMBF News contacted the South Carolina NAACP office to confirm Mustafa's title and involvement with the NAACP Conway Branch.

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