Wharton Threatened Via Social Media Over Budget - FOX13 News, WHBQ FOX 13

Wharton Threatened Via Social Media Over Budget

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    Friday, October 4 2013 3:43 PM EDT2013-10-04 19:43:45 GMT
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MEMPHIS, Tenn. (FOX13) - Mayor A C Wharton's office said it was a threat but retired Memphis Police officer Scott Reed said he was just venting on Facebook.

"No I'm not going after the mayor personally," Reed said. "But there again like I said, there's no telling who might."

The mayor called police.

But Reed warns there are people out there angry enough to attack Mayor Wharton.Many city retirees are enraged after city council voted to support the mayor's plan to reduce the city's contributions to health insurance premiums.

MORE: City Unions Mull Lawsuit Over 2015 Budget Approval Cuts
MORE: Memphis City Council Approves 2015 Budget


Reed retired from the Memphis Police Department in April after 27 years on the job.

On Tuesday night as the city council approved the budget, Reed posted a message on Mayor Wharton's Facebook page.

The expletive-filled post mentions the council members who approved the budget plan.

It says, "AC let me get you alone for just 1 minute." It concludes, "You better keep your bodyguard in your hip pocket!"

The mayor's office called police after staffers saw the post. The mayor's chief of staff said it's a threat and said the mayor gets threats from time to time and they always refer them to police. This time the mayor's office is paying particular attention because it's coming from a retired police officer.

But Reed said he was just venting. He was reacting to the council's vote to approve the mayor's proposal to cut the city's portion of retiree health insurance subsidies. That savings would be used to shore up the city's pension program.

"I have no intention of going to city hall, I have no intention of looking A C Wharton up personally, but like I said if he'll sit down with me we can sit down and talk," Reed said. "That's all it would be, talk. Every time we turn around it seems like the city is taking, taking something away from us. "In one quick vote they've taken it all away."

MORE: Facebook page highlights stories of Memphians affected by 2015 budget

Reed added that while he has no intention of confronting Mayor Wharton, he's concerned other retirees might. He said that's why he made the comment about the mayor's bodyguards.

Reed, who also spent 20 years in the Navy and Navy Reserves, said he stands by his Facebook post.

"It's very possible I'm going to have to go back and do a third career," he said.

Reed added that he had seen enough after Tuesday evening's budget passage vote and it was time to speak up.

"Firefighters and police officers and paramedics we see the worst of the city of Memphis on a daily basis," he said.

He says that takes a toll. Some city employees are dealing with PTSD and while Reed says he has no intention of harming the mayor or any other city official, he's worried someone out there might snap.

"This is just another straw that's going to break the back of somebody that's finally going to have enough," he said.

When FOX13 News talked to Reed Thursday afternoon he said he had not been contacted by police concerning the threat. He said they know where to find him.

A police spokeswoman said there's no open investigation into Reed's Facebook post.

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