If you’re near a live camera and microphone, it’s good advice to be on your best behavior, even when you think no one is watching. Just ask the consultant for Walmart who was recently filmed referring to a Springfield, MO, city councilman as “a dipsh*t.”
The News-Leader of Springfield breaks down all the little comments made by the real estate broker who was brought in to help convince the city to approve the construction of a new Walmart grocery store.
During a 10-minute recess (you can see the whole video above), he is heard talking to his fellow consultants about one council member who will likely vote no on the project.
“What is his deal?” he asks. “You dipsh*t. Who pays for all of it,” referring to a traffic study that had been brought up during the hearing.
The consultant had helped the company pick the site for the proposed store, but can be overheard saying, “If I had a do-over, I’d take it someplace else.”
He also discusses how he worked with the head of a church that currently occupies to the site to get only positive feedback at the hearing.
“Everybody talks about that the neighborhood doesn’t want any of this,” recalls the consultant in the video. “So he said, ‘I’m going to get some people in the parish, whatever, and we’re going to walk around and talk to people.’ I said OK, and if it’s bad we just forget this whole conversation. And if it’s good we use it.”
He later expresses delight at one particular area resident’s decision to voice their opposition to the proposal, saying, “What happened to the kid with the ponytail … he was great … to let him go off, because he’s a nut bag.”
The “dipsh*t” council member says he has already received an apology from the consultant.
“I said sure, you’re forgiven,” the council member tells the News-Leader. “I’ve probably said worse with the microphone turned off myself. No hard feelings, see you in two weeks.”
The consultant also sent the paper this statement: “It has recently come to my attention that comments I made last night were recorded at the city council meeting. I try to conduct myself in a professional and business-like manner and my comments were neither… I have spoken with Councilman Bailes and apologized for my comments about him for which I am truly sorry. I also apologize to the city council members and mayor and to any other party my comments have offended.”
A rep for Walmart writes that, “We insist that all our vendors conduct themselves in a way that is in line with our values and we will reinforce that expectation to help ensure this type of activity is not repeated.”