Contractor fires 2 after noose incident in Edmonds

It was discovered tied over a beam in an area where a pair of black employees were working at a construction site.

EDMONDS — A Seattle contracting company has fired two employees after the discovery of a noose on an Edmonds construction site.

In a statement, Venture General Contracting said it terminated the job superintendent and foreman for making inappropriate comments to two temporary workers about the incident.

The noose was tied over a beam in an area where two black workers, a man and woman, were working on Oct. 26.

The company said it does not know who put the noose in the work area.

Venture “strictly prohibits workplace harassment and racial intolerance and stands with others in the Edmonds community who are appalled by this highly offensive incident,” the statement adds.

The incident occurred on a housing construction site at 50 Pine St. near the Point Edwards condominium project.

Police were notified Nov. 3. It remains under investigation.

“I’m delighted the company has taken action,” Edmonds Mayor Dave Earling said.

“I simply hope we can avoid any further incident,” he added. “Our community will not tolerate this kind of conduct.”

Ed Dorame, co-chairman of the city’s Diversity Commission, said he thought the company’s termination of the two employees was “the right thing to do.”

“Hopefully, now we can start the healing in our community regarding this issue,” he said.

City Council member Dave Teitzel said the city is pleased action has been taken against the contractor’s two employees who “either were involved in this incident or knew about it.”

The police department has interviewed both of the black workers who found the noose, he said.

The council is considering what steps it can take to reduce the chances of a similar incident in the future. This might include “educating contractors about the behavior we expect — that any level of harassment or intimidation is not acceptable,” Teitzel said.

Edmonds was hit earlier this year by somebody painting swastikas on parked cars. A man was arrested in July in connection with one of the incidents.

Sharon Salyer: 425-339-3486; salyer@heraldnet.com.

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