LYNN HAVEN, Fla. (WMBB) — Lynn Haven Commissioner Judy Tinder officially aired her grievances with Lynn Haven Police Chief Ricky Ramie Tuesday morning during a commission meeting.
Last month, Tinder emailed commissioners asking for an emergency meeting to fire Chief Ramie over some inappropriate text messages.
Ramie apologized to Tinder at the start of Tuesday’s meeting.
“I just want to take this opportunity to personally and publicly apologize to Ms. Vickie Cook and to Mrs.Tinder,” Ramie said.
But the apology did not put the discussion to rest.
Tinder continued to call for Ramie’s termination.
Tinder has described the crude text messages Ramie sent to former city manager Michael White as unacceptable.
The public became aware of the texts during a hearing in the Lynn Haven corruption case, and have since made their rounds on social media.
Ramie is a witness against the suspects in the case.
In the texts, Ramie allegedly uses two derogatory terms against women and one against lesbians.
“I can’t even comprehend how this behavior can be tolerated and acceptable to anyone and especially to those residents whose tax dollars are used to pay his salary, his health insurance, and his pension,” Tinder said.
Citizens expressed their feelings on both sides of the controversy.
“His verbal assault on a woman as a sitting Lynn Haven commissioner only demonstrates how Mr. Ramie truly feels about women,” Christy McElroy said.
“Chief Ramie has always been kind to me,” Rita Miller said. “I’ve not seen anything bad that he’s done and he is entitled to his opinion, just like you are.”
Lynn Haven City Manager Vickie Gainer said the city’s labor attorneys found no reason to punish Ramie.
But Gainer did write a letter of reprimand for Ramie’s personnel file, saying the comments were ‘insensitive and inappropriate’ and ‘will not be tolerated.’
The offensive text messages are evidence in an ongoing federal court case. While alleged copies are in circulation, they’ve not been officially released by the federal court.