The opening session of Philadelphia’s city council is often filled with warm wishes and good feelings for the days ahead.
But on Thursday, during the first meeting, a top aide to a city councilman accused this television station and its investigative reporter of racism.
The aide works for Councilman Wilson Goode, Jr. During the past several weeks, we’ve been asking her and the councilman questions about her work habits at city hall.
Latrice Bryant is a top legislative aide to Goode. She’s ducking questions we have about the amount of time she spends at city hall working for the councilman.
Here’s why we’re asking: during work weeks in June and July, Fox 29 Investigates kept an eye on Bryant as she made her way to and from her job at city hall.
We saw her—time and time again—showing up late while indicating on her time sheets that she started work, often, hours earlier.
So, on Thursday we came to the opening session of city council to try to get some answers.
But after Bryant dodged us, she took a seat behind Goode in council chambers and held up hand-written signs accusing Fox 29 and Cole of racism.
The accusations came moments after Goode reacted angrily to our attempts to question Bryant.
“Don’t you ever disrespect a black woman like that again,” Goode said.
“What is racist about me asking you about your publicly-paid employee and her hours, sir?” Cole asked.
“I am going to send you a written response and I’m going to talk to them about whatever they want to talk about,” Goode said.
In the response, Goode wrote that he won’t dismiss Bryant’s nine-year work track record based on possible “mistakes” on her time sheets.
He says he has tightened the sign-in process in his office but wouldn’t answer questions about her work hours.
“But when someone signs timesheets a few days later and goes back it’s, they’re prone to make mistakes,” Goode said.