Richland County disciplined an assistant county administrator on Friday after a statement he made about suicide during a training session with emergency medical services personnel on Thursday.
“The fact that such comments were made will not be tolerated,” said Richland County Administrator Gerald Seals in a news release Friday night. “Any reference to suicide in a cavalier manner is unacceptable and a public apology is warranted – and given,” Seals said.
In an in-service meeting with EMS personnel on Thursday, Kevin Bronson, assistant administrator for public safety, reportedly said that if things at work were “really that bad, you can just kill yourself or leave,” WIS-TV reported.
Seals said Bronson had been disciplined but declined to say how.
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In an email to EMS employees published by independent journalist Ron Aiken, Bronson acknowledged his comment was inappropriate and insensitive. He apologized and said “the time I spent in the woodshed was both painful and appropriate.”
In his apology, Bronson also said his “flippant comment involved a situation in which I have personal, painful experience.” He said he lost a loved family member to suicide shortly after finishing college.
Bronson was hired by Richland County in December 2015 after working in administrative positions in Orangeburg, Camden and Rock Hill.