Posted: Sep 30, 2011 9:38 PM by Shawn Kline
Updated: Oct 1, 2011 10:36 AM
The Morgan City Fire Department suspended Captain Andrew Ratcliff in August for sending a racially charged text to his former Chief, Richard Anderson.
Next week, Ratcliff returns to the fire department but not without some controversy.
Anderson says Ratcliff should have been terminated.
"My jaw hit the floor when I knew who it was from." Anderson says, "it really took me by surprise."
Anderson says he used to consider Captain Andrew Ratcliff as a friend but it all changed with one obvious racially charged text message in August.
"He was sending it someone named Richard in another department outside of ours," Chief Morris Price said of the racial text message. "He had inadvertently sent it to Chief Richard instead."
When Chief Price was told about the text, he gave Ratcliff a 30-day suspension without pay.
Anderson calls that punishment "light," and it's changed the public perception of the fire department.
"We do our 100% best at every fire call." Chief Price says, "we do not discriminate."
Anderson says he was the chief who promoted Ratcliff to captain. Now, Anderson is questioning whether the fire department, and Ratcliff in particular, can effectively do their jobs as civil servants.
"Most citizens would want to feel confident that the person coming to their aid is in that position for all the right reasons because they are there to help." Anderson says, "not because they're racist and they can get away with it."
Ratcliff did apologize but Anderson says it was a forced apology and that's not going to win his forgiveness.