Chattanooga Mayor Andy Berke has posted a more detailed response about the firing of Deryl Nelson
, better known these days as "The Dancing Ranger."
Nels0n was fired from his job as a Park Ranger for the Chattanooga Public Works Dept. He was videotaped by a woman
who felt his dance moves were inappropriate. Nelson went public, saying his dancing was not inappropriate, but entertaining. He said he was fired solely for his dancing on the job.
There was a widespread public outcry in his defense. A petition drive on Change.org
garnered more than 1,000 signatures, imploring the mayor to reinstate Nelson.
On Thursday the mayor posted a response on Change.org, revealing numerous details about alleged infractions, culminating with the dancing matter, that led to Nelson's firing.
The Mayor posted a response he said came from the city's Human Resources Department:While the City of Chattanooga respects personal information concerning our employees and refrains from commenting on employee issues as it regards terminations, we have received several questions regarding the termination of employee Deryl Nelson and feel it is necessary to respond. As stated previously, there were several factors that led to the decision to terminate the employee. This included a history of inappropriate behavior as well as poor job performance.
Mr. Nelson’s personnel file includes 15 instances of corrective action taken since 2007, including a total of 20 days of suspension for making inappropriate and profane comments to female park visitors and a female employee, as well as negligence while operating a motor vehicle that resulted in two preventable accidents. During this time, Mr. Nelson also received four reprimands for poor job performance and inappropriate conduct, including the solicitation of free food from a local restaurant while on duty and becoming loud and angry after free food was denied.
The City is committed to providing the most efficient, effective, and courteous service while being responsible with taxpayer dollars; Mr. Nelson’s history of neglecting his job duties and inappropriate comments and conduct are not consistent with this commitment to our citizens.”