An assistant county administrator accused of making a statement involving suicide during a training session with emergency medical services staffers has resigned.
Kevin Bronson submitted his resignation on Monday, said Beverly Harris, spokeswoman for Richland County. Harris could not provide additional information, saying the resignation is a personnel matter.
The resignation came as emergency medical services staffers gathered to protest Bronson’s comments at the Richland County Administration Building on Monday. His comments were condemned by Richland County Administrator Gerald Seals in a news release on Friday night.
“The fact that such comments were made will not be tolerated,” Seals said. “Any reference to suicide in a cavalier manner is unacceptable and a public apology is warranted – and given.”
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Seals said then that Bronson had been disciplined but declined to say how.
In an in-service meeting with EMS personnel on Thursday, Bronson, assistant administrator for public safety, reportedly said that if things at work were “really that bad, you can just kill yourself or leave,” WIS-TV reported.
In an email to EMS employees published by independent journalist Ron Aiken, Bronson acknowledged his comment was inappropriate and insensitive. He apologized and said “the time I spent in the woodshed was both painful and appropriate.”
In his apology, Bronson also said his “flippant comment involved a situation in which I have personal, painful experience.” He said he lost a loved family member to suicide shortly after finishing college.
Bronson was hired by Richland County in December 2015 after working in administrative positions in Orangeburg, Camden and Rock Hill.