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Hospital fires Mississippi voter who wore shirt with Confederate flag, noose to polls  5 Months ago

Source:   USA Today  

A Mississippi voter who came under fire for wearing an offensive T-shirt at a polling site has been terminated from his job at Regional One Hospital, the hospital announced Thursday.

The statement did not identify the employee by name, but he was identified by BuzzFeed and on social media as Clayton John Hickey, an Olive Branch resident and former Memphis police officer. 

Regional One said in a tweet earlier Thursday that it was looking into the matter and would have an update before the end of the day. A statement shortly before 5 p.m. said the employee in question had been terminated.

"On November 7, 2018, we became aware of a photo circulating on social media of an individual identified online as an employee of Regional One Health," Angie Golding, the hospital's director of corporate strategic communications, said in the statement. "The Regional One Health legal and human resources teams promptly began an investigation into this employee and to determine if these allegations were real and accurate.

"We understand and appreciate the intense feelings related to this situation, but it is our duty to perform a thorough due diligence to verify the truth.

"As of today, November 8, 2018, we have completed our investigation and what we learned led to the termination of the employee in question."

Efforts to reach Hickey have been unsuccessful.

The incident occurred during the midterm elections Tuesday when voters at the Summershill precinct in Olive Branch photographed and posted on social media a picture of an unidentified white man at a voting machine. He was wearing a white T-shirt with the words "Mississippi Justice" along with a picture of a Confederate flag and a noose.

DeSoto County Election Commissioner Paul Beale confirmed the incident occurred, and both he and a spokeswoman for the Mississippi Secretary of State's office said, despite rumors, he was not a poll worker but a voter.

Leah Rupp Smith of the Secretary of State's office said state law does specify a dress code for polling locations.

Some voters expressed outrage.

"I was in line with my boys at the same time," Ashleigh Parker said on Twitter. "I was disgusted and horrified. We all were. He does not speak for the majority of our city. I wish I had spoken up but I didn't want to bring attention to him."

In its statement, Regional One said Thursday it seeks to foster "a safe and protected work and care environment for all. Behaviors contrary to these principles are unacceptable and will not be tolerated."

Before working at Regional One, Hickey was a Memphis police officer. He resigned in 2010 after he was stopped with an underage girl and alcohol in his car.

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