Hospital fires employee who wore controversial shirt to Mississippi poll

OLIVE BRANCH, Miss. — If he doesn't already, Clayton Hickey might regret voting in an arguably racist shirt on election day.

A photo of Hickey wearing the shirt to a polling place in Olive Branch went viral this week. The photo shows the Confederate flag with a noose on top of it — two symbols that many call racist.

On Thursday, Regional One Health in Memphis confirmed the man in the photo was an employee at the hospital and that he had been fired after a thorough investigation.

The hospital released a statement saying:

"As of today, November 8, 2018, we have completed our investigation and what we learned led to the termination of the employee in question. Regional One Health holds employees to a high standard. We are committed to upholding our mission to provide compassionate care and exceptional services to all. This includes fostering a safe and protected work and care environment for all. Behaviors contrary to these principles are unacceptable and will not be tolerated."

They say they're taking the matter seriously and are "committed to a safe, secure and comfortable environment for its patients, guests and employees."

We talked with one of Hickey's neighbors who didn't want to be identified. He doesn't know Hickey too well, but doesn't think he's racist.

"He's nice as far as I have seen. He came out and helped me do some stuff. I don't think he's wanting to start trouble. He gets caught in a lot of trouble."

The neighbor is referring to an incident years ago when Hickey resigned from the Memphis Police Department. He was caught in a car with a 17-year-old girl and alcohol.

"He just gets caught in all the wrong situations," the neighbor said.

We knocked on the door hoping to catch him at home. But no one answered.

As for the shirt, Hickey's neighbor can't decide if it's racist or not.

"It's hard to say for me," he said.

The voter who snapped the picture thinks it sends a hateful message.

As far as the rules in Mississippi go, the only clothing you can't wear to the polls is clothing that shows a candidate's name or face.