Stan McCullars, an assistant finance director at the Seminole courts office, posted comments about Ayala on Facebook. Ayala recently made headlines after announcing she wouldn't seek the death penalty in cases under her administration, including the case of murder suspect Markeith Loyd. Florida Gov. Rick Scott removed Ayala from the Loyd case, saying she would "not fight for justice." Ayala, who was recently elected in November, is also the first African-American state attorney in Florida.
"Maybe she should get the death penalty," McCullars writes about Ayala. "She should be tarred and feathered if not hung from a tree."
In another comment
, McCullars says it was wrong of him to post those statements about Ayala.
"I let my anger at her efforts to thwart justice get the best of me," he writes.
Orange County Democrats
say McCullars' comments invoked the "despicable and heinous act of lynching." From 1877 to 1950, Florida led the country in per capita lynchings, according to the Orlando Sentinel
"This overt act of racism directed at Florida's first African-American state attorney should not be tolerated," the organization says in a statement. "Nothing short of Mr. McCullars' termination will be acceptable. Language such as this is unacceptable in 2017."
McCullars, whose LinkedIn profile
says he's been with the Seminole courts office since April 2016, was placed on administrative leave while the issue is investigated to determine disciplinary action, according to a statement from Grant Maloy, Clerk of Courts and Comptroller.
"These comments neither reflect my beliefs or those of the Clerk of the Court and Comptroller office, nor were they made on behalf of or by our organization," Maloy says. "I also personally reached out to [State] Attorney Aramis Ayala to express my regrets over such comments. The Clerk of the Court and Comptroller, our management team and employees do not tolerate or condone discriminatory behavior toward our customers, coworkers or the public, and we stand by our commitment to diversity and inclusion."
Ayala's office has filed a formal complaint with the Seminole courts office regarding the McCullars' posts, says spokesperson Eryka Washington.
An employee with the Seminole County Clerk of Court office was suspended after he posted on social media that Orange-Osceola State Attorney Aramis Ayala should be "tarred and feathered if not hung from a tree."