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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

UPDATE: Facebook comments by Seminole County official spark outrage

Stan McCullars, the assistant finance director at the Seminole County Clerk of the Circuit Court, apologized for posting a comment on Facebook that Aramis Ayala, state attorney for Orange and Osceola counties, be hung from a tree. Ayala is the first African-American state attorney.

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Stan McCullars, the assistant finance director at the Seminole County Clerk of the Circuit Court, apologized for posting a comment on Facebook that Aramis Ayala, state attorney for Orange and Osceola counties, be hung from a tree. Ayala is the first African-American state attorney.

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(The Orlando Sentinel reports that McCullars placed on administrative leave. Grant Maloy, Clerk of Courts and Comptroller, said that McCullars' comments "don't reflect my beliefs or the beliefs of the comptroller's office." An investigation is pending, with a decision expected this week. Maloy said her personally called Ayala to express his regrets.)

Backlash against Orange-Osceola State Attorney Aramis Ayala was swift last week when she refused to seek the death penalty, even in a cop slaying case. 

But Stan McCullars, the assistant finance director of the Seminole County Clerk of Court office, hijacked the controversy by posting incendiary comments on Facebook.

"Maybe she should get the death penalty," McCullars said, referencing Ayala, the state's first African-American state attorney. "She should be tarred and feathered if not hung from a tree."

Considering the history of lynchings in Central Florida, the comments couldn't be viewed as anything but racist by the Orange County Democrats. It posted a swift rebuke of McCullars.

McCullars "invoked language recalling the despicable and heinous act of lynching directed towards the 9th District State Attorney. This overt act of racism...should not be tolerated. Nothing short of Mr. McCullars' termination will be acceptable. Language such as this is unacceptable in 2017."

McCullars did post a somewhat contrite, yet still defensive, comment: "Yep. It was wrong of me to post that. I let my anger at her efforts to thwart justice get the best of me."

He has since taken down his Facebook and Twitter profiles. His LinkedIn profile shows he's been in his present job for 1 year. Before that, he worked at CNL Bank for about 10 years. Before he took it town, his Twitter profile read: Bible-believing Christian. Happily married. Father to one incredible son. Auburn alumnus ('86). Voter registration records show the 52-year-old is a registered Republican. 

[Last modified: Monday, March 20, 2017 6:38pm]

    

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