Palestine City Manager Shows Support for NFL Star Adrian Peterson by Publicly Whipping City Employee with Switch
PALESTINE, TX—One City of Palestine employee is dead and another praised after City Manager Wendy Ellis publicly ‘whipped’ a city employee with a switch to show support for hometown NFL star Adrian Peterson. The incident began at a work session for council Tuesday night intended to discuss the upcoming budget and ended with the employee’s death at the Wellscreek Wastewater Treatment Facility.
Peterson, who was raised in Palestine and now plays for the Minnesota Vikings, was indicted by a Montgomery County grand jury on child abuse charges surrounding an incident in which he allegedly spanked his child with a wooden switch. Deactivated for one day by the Vikings, Peterson is now allowed to play as the team awaits a verdict in the case to make a final decision.
Ellis told members of Palestine’s city council that support for the NFL star was important and wanted to show that support in a unique way.
“We’ve noticed the community loves Adrian. We love him, too,” she said, “And one way we’re going to support him is to use some good ol’ fashioned East Texas corporal punishment to discipline employees for city policy violations.” Ellis continued, “We’re going to start with one employee who was late to work this week and lacked a valid excuse for her tardiness.”
Ellis proceeded to call an unidentified employee to the front of council chambers, pulled a wooden switch from beneath the desk and lashed the employee multiple times until the employee escaped. The public discipline lasted about 5 minutes before the employee retreated from the assault.
Ellis was quick to respond to the escaping employee and called on the services of water distribution and wastewater collection supervisor Doug Whitten for help. Whitten immediately grabbed his gun and flashlight and pursued the scared employee to the Wellscreek Wastewater Treatment Facility. Following a nearly hour long search, the employee was cornered near one of the large tanks containing algae covered water, but fell in when a faulty rail gave way to the employee’s grasp, according to a police report.
“We’re saddened by the loss of this employee,” Ellis told members of council, “But punctuality is important at any employment, especially the city, and tardiness cannot be tolerated. Once again, thanks to Doug Whitten for his fast response. We couldn’t do it without you,” Ellis concluded.
Members of council, who followed behind Whitten while he searched for the running employee, applauded. Councilman Joseph Thompson then climbed to the top of a heaping pile of debris and publicly thanked Ellis for her service to the city and added, “We’re praying for you, Adrian.”
The name of the employee has not been released and no criminal charges will be filed, according to Palestine Police Chief Mike Alexander. The body was unable to be recovered.