SHELBY COUNTY, TN -(WMC) - Shelby County Democrats have dug up an 11-year-old audio clip to try and discredit Mayor Mark Luttrell.
Mayor Luttrell says he heard this audio clip in a new radio ad by the Shelby County Democrats. The party claims the clip was recorded during a 2003 firefighters union meeting presided over by current interim Shelby County Fire Chief Dale Burress. They say Burress allowed the "n-word" to be used during a meeting.
"County mayor Mark Luttrell was presented with this information by an elected official and still chose to promote this individual," Shelby County Democratic Party Chairman Bryan Carson said.
Luttrell says Shelby County Commissioner Henri Brooks once made a vague reference to the meeting, but there was never any complaint or county investigation by the previous administration. No one knows now which firefighter actually used the slur 11 years ago.
"Any type of racial slur is unacceptable, indefensible either in public or private discussions. Dignity and respect for our citizens is paramount. And I honor that," Luttrell said.
Burress claims he did not hear the racial slur during that meeting in 2003. Therefore, without substantiation, Luttrell says Burress will remain interim chief until a permanent replacement is named.