Richland County Councilwoman Requests Administrator’s Dismissal After ‘Disparaging Remark’ About EMS
ABC Columbia News Exclusive
Columbia, S.C. (WOLO)– In a statement sent to ABC Columbia News, Richland County Councilwoman Joyce Dickerson said in part, “Please know that County Council highly respects our employee and value their service.”
Dickerson gave the statement in regards to a “disparaging remark by Kevin Bronson, a Richland County employee while in a meeting.”
Bronson is Richland County’s assistant county administrator. Gerald Seals, Richland County Administrator, said the inappropriate comment was made during an internal meeting for Emergency Medical Services (EMS) employees. The statement said Bronson’s comment referenced suicide, and “any reference to suicide in a cavalier manner is unacceptable and a public apology is warranted– and given.” Seals said comments like those will not be tolerated, and Bronson has been disciplined. Seals echoed Dickerson’s sentiment saying, “I am committed to ensuring all County employees know they are valued and respected.”
Councilwoman Dickerson said that Mr. Bronson’s remarks are totally unacceptable by the council.
“I spoke with Mr. Gerald Seals, the County Administrator after being informed of the incident requesting that Mr. Bronson be placed on administrative leave indefinitely and/or termination. Every department is appreciated but our EMS services is extremely vital to our community. Their service can be the difference between life or death. As Chair of this Council, please not that I will not tolerate this type of behavior within our county administration. An apology from Mr. Bronson is unacceptable.”
A Richland County EMT employee said that “we get called in a lot because we don’t have enough people to cover all the shifts.” The employee said the meeting on Thursday was to discuss how “it’s getting too hard to work for Richland County EMS.”
The claims of the disparaging comment come just two weeks after Richland County Sheriff DeputyDerek Fish committed suicide on duty.