Charlotte Mayor To Help Fired Grocery Store Worker Find A New Job

February 19, 2014 7:07 a.m.

The mayor of Charlotte is providing a safety net to the grocery store cook who was fired for throwing shade at North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory (R).

Drew Swope lost his job at Reid’s Fine Foods in Charlotte on Sunday after a confrontation with McCrory, who was visiting the store.

Swope, no fan of the Republican governor, said he simply told McCrory “thanks for nothing” before walking away. The remark set McCrory off, according to Swope.

“And he started yelling at me and eyes were bulging out of his head,” Swope told TPM in a phone interview on Tuesday.

Get TPM in your inbox, twice weekly.
Your subscription could not be saved. Please try again.
Your subscription has been successful.

The openly gay Swope also told TPM that McCrory was hostile to him “for being a fag.”

A spokesman for the governor said that McCrory did not raise his voice, and claimed that Swope actually made an obscene gesture — a charge that Swope vehemently denied.

McCrory’s office did not respond to TPM’s request for comment.

Regardless of what exactly went down, the incident cost Swope his job. But shortly after he spoke to TPM on Tuesday, Swope announced on Facebook that he was dealt a helping hand from a Democratic politician.

“The mayor of Charlotte, Pat Cannon, just called me and asked me to send him my resume and he’ll see if he can help me find a position,” Swope wrote.

Cannon told the Charlotte Observer that he might be able to work his connections to help Swope land a job in the private sector.

“To lose a job is nothing that someone wants to do,” Cannon said. “I felt that I would do what I could to help him along the way, if I could make something happen. I have a few leads for him to help him continue being a contributing citizen of Charlotte.”

Cannon said he hasn’t discussed the matter with McCrory, who served as mayor of Charlotte from 1995 until 2009.

For his part, Swope had said from the beginning that he doesn’t have any hard feelings toward his former employer.

“I wasn’t surprised at all,” Swope told TPM. “I mean, I would have fired me. I’ve been in the restaurant business for 25 years. I know the rules.”

Latest Livewire
Comments are now Members-Only

Non-members are still able to read comments, but will no longer be able to participate. To join the conversation, sign up now and get:

30% Off Annual Prime Membership

TPM strives to build as inclusive a community as financially possible. We offer FREE memberships to those experiencing financial hardship and FREE memberships for students.

View all options
Masthead Masthead
Founder & Editor-in-Chief:
Executive Editor:
Managing Editor:
Associate Editor:
Investigations Desk:
Audience Development Editor:
Editor at Large:
General Counsel:
Head of Product:
Director of Technology:
Associate Publisher:
Front End Developer:
Senior Designer: