August 23 2014 Latest news:
by Tim Lamden
Thursday, April 17, 2014
A long-serving lollipop man from a Camden primary school has been sacked by the council following allegations he racially abused a council employee.
Jon Seymour was dismissed by Camden Council last week for gross misconduct having served as a lollipop man at Carlton Primary School, in Grafton Road, Kentish Town, since 1994.
Mr Seymour had been suspended by the council since July after an altercation with a black member of staff whom he called “King Kong”.
Following the decision last Friday, Trinidad-born Mr Seymour told the Ham&High: “It was not racial. I said he was angry like King Kong. No one looks like King Kong. “I apologised to him and we shook hands after, but Camden wanted to take it further for some reason.”
Last week, the council held an internal disciplinary hearing, after which it was ruled that Mr Seymour was in breach of the council’s code of conduct for employees.
Louise McBride, chairman of the hearing, sacked Mr Seymour having considered the allegations of an altercation between the former lollipop man and a council officer at the Town Hall Extension, in King’s Cross, on July 17.
Mr Seymour was also accused of breaching the code of conduct for bringing his suspension to the attention of the press through a story published by the Ham&High last year.
Dismissing Mr Seymour with immediate effect, Ms McBride said: “I am satisfied on the basis of the information obtained during the investigation that this complaint is upheld on the basis that your behaviour was both physically and verbally aggressive and threatening and that you used insulting language.”
Mr Seymour said the altercation last year was sparked after he was asked to quieten down by a council officer having entered the reception of the Town Hall Extension speaking loudly on his mobile phone. He claims the officer interrupted his conversation before he was escorted from the building by two security officers.
Mr Seymour now plans to appeal the council’s decision, adding: “I’m not going to leave it lying, I want people to know what Camden is about.
“I think what they did to me was wrong. I’ve been there almost 20 years and never had a warning. I haven’t had any problems with anyone else.”
A council spokesman said: “Camden has a code of conduct which sets out how staff are expected to behave towards the public and other members of staff. We can confirm that a member of staff was dismissed from the council for gross misconduct.
“We are unable to comment further at this stage as the dismissal may be subject to an appeal to elected members.”