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1) School Employee Accused Of Sending Racist E-Mail, Fired
ANDERSON, S.C. -- An Upstate school employee said on Wednesday that he was fired from his job after being accused of sending out a racist e-mail at work.
The trouble started when everyone who works at McCants Middle School received a political e-mail from Horace Alexander's address.
Alexander worked at the school as a counselor to help students find careers.
He said he was given an option by Anderson County School District 5 to quit or be fired after the e-mail went out.
The e-mail appeared to have his name on it, but he said he didn't send it.
The message was titled "Obama vs. McCain" and used the letters in the candidates' names to spell out, "Obviously blacks are moving America. Maybe Caucasians can accept it now."
A copy of the e-mail was forwarded to WYFF News 4 by a someone who identified themselves as a friend of McCants Middle School employee and who asked to remain anonymous.
"I was personally offended by the obvious racism in this e-mail," the person who forwarded the e-mail said. "Please investigate this situation and speak out on behalf of the teachers that were appalled by this e-mail."
Alexander said he refused to quit and therefore was fired. The school district said it's still investigating.
While the district confirmed that it was looking into the e-mail, a representative said it's treating it as a personnel matter, and said the district could not further comment.
Earlier this month, two Seneca city employees were suspended without pay after being accused of forwarding a racist e-mail.
The two worked at the city recreation center. They're accused of using their work e-mail accounts to forward a parody of the poem, "The Night Before Christmas" that includes racial stereotypes.
The city administrator said he has a zero tolerance policy for racism.
2) Citigroup dumps vice president for his blog
TO the community of 60,000 who keep his company each day, Michael J. McCarthy looms large enough to be chosen as next month's featured speaker at the Dallas Security Traders annual convention.
That helps explain why Citigroup Inc fired him.
The 35-year-old stock trader was let go earlier this week after his employers realized he was "Large," the man of bulk who operates www.takeareport.com, Bloomberg News reported.
The McCarthy Website showcases women who manage to look insufficiently dressed along with bawdy commentary on celebrities.
"This employee was terminated for behavior that violated the firm's code of conduct and policies," Citigroup spokeswoman Danielle Romero-Apsilos said.
McCarthy, a vice president, declined to comment on his departure from the New York-based bank.
Financial industry regulatory records show he's been at Citigroup for seven years, most recently trading shares of utility and power companies.
"It's a little over the top," said Barry Ritholtz, director of equity research for New York-based Fusion IQ, who has looked at the site and has his own financial blog at www.bigpicture.typepad.com.
"I can see why a conservative bank is not going to be happy with it. It's funny as hell."
The Website, created in April 2007, consists of commentary about homosexuals, excretory functions, concert reviews and college football picks.
The name of the site refers to the Wall Street phrase, "take a report," used on trading desks to confirm to a customer that an order had been executed.
McCarthy lost his job after Citigroup, the biggest United States bank by assets, determined that he was using his computer at work to access and promote the site, industry sources said yesterday.
Takeareport.com raises money for a military unit in Iraq to provide it with better equipment.
It also donates proceeds to Wounded Warrior Project, a Florida-based non-profit group that helps injured soldiers, according to information on the site.
It has 60,000 page views a day and 1.9 million page views a month, according to Google Inc's Google Analytics unit which analyzes traffic for Websites.
"He never identifies himself," Ritholtz said. "He never identified Citigroup. To me, it looks very much like a private thing."
For the Dallas Security Traders Association's convention next month, McCarthy still is listed as the keynote speaker.
The honor last year went to Jim Rogers, who founded the Quantum Fund with billionaire George Soros.
In 2006, the keynote speaker was Spencer Abraham, energy secretary for President George W. Bush from 2001 to 2005.
"He seems to be an extremely well-known person across the trading community and we thought it would be an interesting change of pace from what we've done in the past," said Alan Marshall, chairman of the Dallas Security Traders conference.
The conference expects about 300 to 400 people to attend the event. "It seemed like this would be a good opportunity for people to try to laugh a little bit," Marshall said yesterday.