From: (Rex Wockner)
Date: 22 Feb 1995 11:41:33 -0600

Copyright (c) 1995 Rex Wockner and Gay & Lesbian Times. All rights reserved.

Man Says City Worker Called Him a "White Faggot"      (731 words)

Times Tussles with City over Open-Records Laws

by Rex Wockner

SAN DIEGO -- A San Diego gay man has filed a complaint with the city
Human Relations Commission (HRC) and Mayor Susan Golding's office
over an alleged homophobic and racist altercation with a
Hispanic, apparently heterosexual employee of the city Water
Utilities Department.

	Robert Culley says that on Feb. 4 at about 11:30 a.m.: "I
was backing out of a parking space in a lot located near the
intersection of Eighth and University in Hillcrest. ... A city
truck driving excessively fast through the lot nearly ran into my
vehicle. The driver honked his horn and then sped past me at an
equally excessive rate of speed. ...

	"I pulled up to the driver after he had parked," Culley
continued, "with the intention of getting his name and filing a
complaint. The driver immediately became confrontational. He
yelled at me ... 'Who in the fuck do you think you are?' He then
leaned through my car window and stated, 'Look, you blond-hair,
blue-eye, white-skin piece of shit, when you do what I do all day
long at work, then you can complain.'"

	Culley says he then "told the driver that I am a citizen of
San Diego and that he was driving a city truck. I reminded him
that his salary was paid with my tax dollars, and, therefore, I
have a right to complain. I further informed him that he had no
right to speak to me in that manner. ... I also asked him for his

	Culley continues: "[The driver] replied: 'Don't worry about
my name. All you need is my truck number.' He came back over to
my vehicle and he said to me, 'You're a faggot, a white faggot!
Faggot!' he yelled at the top of his lungs. 'You think that
you're hot shit, but you're a bunch of pussies! Come on, get out
of the car and I'll kick your ass.'"

	Culley then left the scene, he said.

	Culley says Tom Sheffer of Mayor Golding's office responded
to his complaint by phone, saying the mayor would forward the
complaint to the director of the Water Utilities Department.

	Sheffer did not return a call from the Gay & Lesbian Times.

	The Human Relations Commission at first refused to
acknowledge to the Times that Culley's complaint existed, citing
confidentiality laws. Ten minutes later, the Times filed a
California Public Records Act request, since Culley's HRC complaint
is public record. Minutes later, the City Attorney agreed with
the Times, and HRC's Scott Fulkerson discussed the case with the

	Fulkerson said HRC can't do a great deal with Culley's
complaint because calling someone a "white faggot" is not a
violation of the city Human Dignity Ordinance. The HDO prohibits
discrimination based on, among other things, sexual orientation
and race in employment, housing, real-estate transactions,
business establishments, city facilities and services, and
educational institutions. The HDO does not address the matter of
hate speech by city residents. Culley, of course, could file a
complaint with the police alleging verbal assault augmented by an
anti-gay hate crime.

	HRC's Fulkerson said: "I'm going to talk to the manager of
the Water Utilities Department. This is more appropriately
investigated by the department. It is clearly against city
personnel policies for someone to behave in such a manner and it
needs to be investigated by the director of the Water

	Water Utilities Department Director Milon Mills did not
return a reporter's calls.

	Water Utilities Department Public Information Director Kurt
Kidman said: "We are doing an investigation into this, a fact-
finding ... to see if any wrongdoing did occur. If we find that
our employee did something wrong, then we will take the steps to
make sure that never happens again. If he's disrespected, to use
a common term now, a citizen, obviously we do not condone that
nor do we want any of that happening, and obviously we'll make
sure it doesn't happen."

	Culley says the man who yelled at him was 5'8" tall, 170
pounds, Hispanic, very muscular and had short hair. He was
driving truck number 107-347, Culley said.

	The Water Utilities Department refuses to identify the
driver assigned to truck 107-347 on Feb. 4. The Gay & Lesbian
Times filed a second California Public Records Act request to obtain
this information. At press time, the request was pending.

                           == END ==


13 February 1995

Kurt Kidman
Director of Public Information
San Diego Water Utilities Department

Dear Mr. Kidman:

	Under the terms of the California Public Records Act, I request 
full and complete copies of whatever documents I need to identify who was 
assigned to be driving Water Utilities Department truck number 107-347 on 
Feb. 4, 1995. Within the timeframe dictated by the California Public 
Records Act, please send me the requested documents or provide precise 
citations of the legal statutes under which you are presently withholding 
these documents.

Very truly yours,
Rex Wockner
Uptown Publications
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