Investigation: Housing employee 'not discriminatory' after controversial Facebook posts

SALISBURY, NC (WBTV) - An internal investigation shows Rowan Housing Authority board chair Malcolm "Mac" Butner did not act in a discriminatory way, despite controversial postings he made on social media.

Rowan County Commissioners voted last month to begin an investigation into alleged racist posts on social media by Butner.

The call for the investigation came after the NAACP demanded that Butner resign over comments he made on his Facebook page. The organization accused him of racism and want him removed from his job.

The uproar involves comments on Butner's Facebook page surrounding the Moral Monday protests.

A complaint filed with the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development in June claimed racial discrimination by Butner based on Facebook posts, one of which referred to a photo of Moral Monday protesters and said, "Gee, They are all black. I guess the white folk could not get off because they were too busy working (and) being productive, good citizens."

The NAACP called for Butner's resignation, saying the comments "were deplorable and discriminative."

Butner told the Salisbury Post that his social posts weren't racist, but were based on his conservative principles. He also posted negative comments about illegal immigrants, homosexuals and Democrats.

"That investigation substantiated that Mac did absolutely nothing against the law, that he violated no one's civil rights," commission Chairman Jim Sides said.

WBTV has learned that Butner won't attend this month's Housing Authority board meeting and won't seek reappointment when his term ends at the end of September.

Before last month's vote to investigate, Commissioner Craig Pierce spoke out about the posts.

"We do not agree with the statements, and we want the public to know we in no way, shape or form condone those statements," Pierce said.

Butner didn't respond to WBTV's request for an interview, but did admit to making the comments to the Salisbury Post last week.

He also told the Post that he had no intention of resigning, saying he wasn't guilty of anything.

"I was going to resign because you can't fight HUD and you can't fight the press. I was going to resign because I didn't want to put commissioners or the housing authority through this as a distraction from their responsibilities and their work," Butner told the Salisbury Post,

"I've talked to a lot of people since then, and I'm not going to resign because I'm not guilty of anything."

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