DPW workers suspended over offensive email

Four Department of Public Works employees have been suspended for circulating a racially charged email on their public email accounts, DPW Director David Guillory said Thursday.

The email, framed as a news release, makes light of President Barack Obama’s health care legislation.

“For Immediate Release: Effective Jan. 1, 2013, aspirin will be heavily taxed under ObamaCare. The only explanation given was that they are white and they work. No other reason was given, but I thought you’d want to know about it,” the email reads.

Parish Attorney Mary Roper said the emails were circulated to employees in other departments outside of DPW, but couldn’t say which ones or how many employees.

“Some disciplinary actions have concluded, and there are some other pending personnel actions,” she said.

Roper said her office is determining whether it is obligated to release the names on the email chain both of those who received the email and those who forwarded it.

Guillory said someone showed him the email earlier this week.

He did not have a comment about the email’s contents.

According to city-parish policy, “employees shall not use the Internet, MetroNet, electronic mail or online services to create/disseminate offensive or disruptive messages. Among those, which are considered offensive, are any messages containing sexual implications, racial slurs, or any other comment that offensively addresses someone’s age, sexual orientation, gender, religious or political believes, national origin, or disability. Among those, which are considered disruptive, are chain letters which ask you to forward the letter for some sort of reward, jokes and cartoons.”