Former Guilford County Manager Marty Lawing no doubt put Guilford County in his mental rear-view mirror when he took a job as the city manager of Fort Myers, Florida, earlier this year.
However, some in that city and in the surrounding Lee County are accusing Lawing of racially biased actions during his eight years managing Guilford County government.
According to a report from FOX4 News in Cape Coral, Florida, Lee County NAACP President James Muwakkil publicly asked city leaders: “How did y’all choose a racist to be our city manager?”
The Lee County NCAAP president told the news outlet that Lawing isn’t fit for the job after the NAACP learned that Lawing was named in several race-based lawsuits while working for Guilford County.
Other news outlets in the Fort Myer’s area have also covered the controversy that’s largely based on an old lawsuit that involved an African-American Information Technology worker in Guilford County government who claimed to have been unfairly terminated by the county.
What’s interesting is that the case – which dragged on for years – never even caused a blip on the news radar in Guilford County. However, after the fact – and after a federal judge has cleared Lawing – the old case is making headlines 795 miles to the south.
Many city leaders and others in Florida jumped to Lawing’s defense and spoke about what a fair and decent man Lawing is. One stated that, if there were any indication of racism in Lawing’s past, he wouldn’t have been hired for the job.
Fort Myers Mayor Kevin Anderson said he doesn’t believe the allegation Lawing is racist. He said that, just by virtue of being county manager, Lawing was no doubt named on all sorts of lawsuits.
“What some people may not know is since being elected in November, I have been sued, not for anything I did individually – just by virtue that I hold this position,” Anderson told a local news outlet.