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NEWS

Slurred speech

State prosecutor fired for alleged racist remarks, but colleagues say charges are out of character

Alicia Tabag, who supervised Morgan in 2008 as a law clerk at the University of Florida Levin College of Law (where Morgan earned her law degree last year), and Nelson Diaz, who was her boss in 2007 at the law firm of Becker & Poliakoff, both say that Morgan interacted amicably with her African-American coworkers. "She was a stellar employee, very professional," Diaz says. Tabag echoes that sentiment, adding: "I've never had anybody complain about her."

But a performance evaluation by the State Attorney's Office on the date of her firing paints a different picture. "[She] shows her displeasure with rulings in court in an unprofessional manner by rolling her eyes or muttering under her breath loud enough for others to hear," the evaluation states. "She will disparage victims to others, and often has negative things to say about her coworkers."

The negative performance evaluation, her subsequent firing and the wildly different descriptions of her personality beg several questions: How could Morgan, who was intelligent enough to make it through law school and work without incident in other professional environments, feel it was OK to use racial slurs at work? And given her reported acerbic nature and unprofessional behavior, why was she hired, let alone promoted, less than six weeks before she was let go? The Orlando Weekly asked the State Attorney's Office for an interview with the deputy chief and the chief of the felony division, who signed off on Morgan's performance evaluation, but the request was denied. "The investigation/statement speaks for itself," Tavernier wrote.

Though the Weekly was unable to reach Morgan for comment, her correspondence with her former employer indicates that she may contest the charges formally. In a June 5 email to her former employer, Morgan asks for documentation of the office's termination procedure, its probationary period, as well as the "at-will employment relationship."

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