A sweeping review of security procedures at Central Moloney in Pine Bluff will be conducted once the immediate needs of employees are addressed in the wake of the fatal shooting Monday of employee LaTange Long, according to a company representative.
Lillie Mae Foots-Wilson, 49, allegedly shot Long, 34, inside the Central Moloney plant on Jefferson Parkway after she said Long had “harassed her for years,” Foots-Wilson reportedly told police.
Wilson is being held on probable cause of capital murder and remains at the adult detention center without bond.
Thursday, Chris Hart, Central Moloney’s vice president for personnel and community relations, said that off-duty police officers are patrolling company facilities for the foreseeable future to allay employee concerns over their workplace safety.
Hart would not comment on the specifics of media reports that Steven Strange, a company supervisor, had been terminated and then rehired Wednesday for allegedly using a 45 caliber pistol he kept in his vehicle to disarm Foots-Wilson after she allegedly shot Long.
Strange could not be reached by a reporter for comment Thursday.
“Steven Strange is employed with Central Moloney,” Hart confirmed after being asked the question. “We have a practice of not discussing employee disciplinary matters and whether they occurred or not. There is quite a bit of news related to him on Fox 16, some of which we wish had not been aired out in the media.”
“We have a huge amount of concerns involving Monday’s incident in the entirety of what happened,” Hart said. “First and foremost among those concerns is caring for our employees and their well-being and safety. Once that has been done we will sit back and take a look at the picture as a whole.”
Hart also responded to allegations made Tuesday by Foots-Wilson at her probable cause hearing that she had been harassed for a lengthy period of time by Long and that management did nothing after Foots-Wilson complained about the alleged harassment.
“There is nothing that we were aware of in the human resources department in the recent past that would have caused any reason to believe what happened Monday would have taken place,” Hart said. “Rest assured that we are still in the process of conducting a very thorough investigation into the entire relationship between the two parties involved.”
“It is extremely hard to handle employee-on-employee violence,” Hart said. “If there is any measure that is remotely reasonable to take to make sure our people can come here and then return home in the same health that they arrived with then we will take it.”
Hart took issue with rumors that Central Moloney employees sent home Monday by management to help them cope with the shooting were not going to be paid for the shift hours they did not work after being told that they would be.
“That is absolutely not true,” Hart said. “I personally told our employees not to worry about clocking out and that I would clock them out at the usual time. The last thing I want people to worry about is the loss of their pay.”