Metro Nashville Human Resources Director Shannon Hall confirmed on Wednesday to The Tennessee Star that “a complaint has been filed” with Metro Nashville Public Health Department’s (MPHD) Human Resources Department, but she declined to address claims made to The Star by sources the complaint was filed by Dr. Stephanie Kang, the director of MPHD’s bureau of racial and health equity.
“Sources tell us that Dr. Stephanie Kang, head of the equity bureau of MPHD, has filed a formal complaint against a Metro Nashville employee,” The Star emailed Hall.
“Can you confirm or deny this report?” The Star asked.
“Our sources claim further that the complaint arose from a disagreement surrounding Dr. Kang’s recent memo about the Rittenhouse verdict,” The Star continued.
“Can you confirm or deny this additional report?” The Star asked.
“Metro Human Resources is aware that a complaint has been filed with the Metro Public Health Department’s Human Resources division. Please contact Matthews Peters at the Metro Public Health Department (MPHD) for further information,” Hall responded by email.
“We don’t comment on personnel matters,” Peters, the deputy communications director at MPHD, subsequently told The Star.
Sources tell The Star that Kang’s complaint was filed against Brian Todd, the long-time Metro Nashville employee who currently serves as the director of communications for MPHD.
Sources add that the two got into a verbal disagreement over issues surrounding the handling of Kang’s controversial memo sent on November 23 to the approximately 400 MPHD employees in which she called the Kyle Rittenhouse verdict “an injustice.”
MPHD subsequently issued an apology for that communication.
Sources tell The Star Kang filed the complaint against Todd with a human resources department within the Metro Nashville government shortly after that disagreement.
When asked by The Star if Todd was available for comment, Peters said “he’s out.”
The Star specifically asked Peters if Todd was the subject of the complaint filed by Kang, Peter’s said “we cannot comment on personnel matters.
The Star then asked Peters if he could say with specificity when Todd will be back in the office and available for comment.
“He’s out,” was all Peters had to say in response.
As The Star reported: on November 24:
Staff at the Metro Nashville Health Department on Wednesday confirmed that its Director of Health Equity Stephanie Kang told department employees via email that the not guilty verdict in the Kyle Rittenhouse trial was an injustice.
Metro Nashville Health Department spokesman Brian Todd told The Tennessee Star that the email, which WTN host Brian Wilson read on his radio show Tuesday, was authentic.
Kang, in the email, described Rittenhouse as “a young white man who shot and killed two people and wounded one other.”
Of the not-guilty verdict, Kang wrote:
We recognize that these injustices can cause distress and harm for BIPOC communities and exacerbate trauma instilled daily through acts of racism and the pervasiveness of white supremacy and oppression. We must move forward collectively to disrupt systemic racism and reaffirm our shared values of equity and inclusion publicly and through practice.
MPHD is committed to providing a space for healing for anyone struggling to process, experiencing distress, and/or needs additional resources to support their colleagues. If you are feeling impacted by these events, please do not hesitate to reach out to the Director, Dr. Gill Wright III, Deputy Director, Dr. Melva Black, or the Bureau Director of Health Equity, Dr. Stephanie Kang.
When asked specifically by The Star if the complaint was filed by Dr. Kang against Mr. Todd, Peters stated once again the office does not comment on personnel matters.
Metro Nashville Health Department officials hired Kang to the newly created position of director of racial and health equity at MPHD in July, according to Kang’s LinkedIn page. Kang received a doctorate from the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health and has an undergraduate degree from Northwestern.
Prior to taking the MPHD job, Kang served as the health policy director for the head of the Progressive Caucus in the U.S. House of Representatives, Rep. Pramila Jayapal (D-WA-07).
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