A 'joking' conversation between a Wrightsville Beach town leader and bartender turns ugly

A bartender says a "joking" conversation between her and a Wrightsville Beach town leader went too far. (Source: WECT)
A bartender says a "joking" conversation between her and a Wrightsville Beach town leader went too far. (Source: WECT)

WRIGHTSVILLE BEACH, NC (WECT) - A bartender says a "joking" conversation between her and a Wrightsville Beach town leader went too far.

Mia Banks has been a bartender at King Neptune Restaurant in Wrightsville Beach for the past four years. Banks said she thinks of the restaurant as not only a place of employment, she considers the management, staff and customers family.

One of her customers, who Banks said she has been acquaintances with for several years, is the town's Mayor Pro Tem, Darryl Mills.

Both Banks and Mills admit they usually have a joking banter between the two of them, however, Banks said the racial slur Mills said to her on Friday, March 20 was unacceptable.

"I don't believe someone with that kind of view should be in a position of power where they don't even respect the people of the town," said Banks.

Banks accused Mills of calling her a "mixed breed [explicit]." Being of African American, Polish and Irish decent, she took great offense to the slur and said she never has felt so degraded before in her life.

Mills said he did call Banks that name; however, it was intended in a joking manner.

"I regret it because it hurt her feelings," said Mills. "We have always had a very friendly, warm, teasing relationship, and things have been said by both of us that if you didn't know us and know how we related to each other some people might take offense some might not. When I saw this did (offend Banks) I apologized."

Mia had contacted the Board of Alderman about the situation, hoping Mills would step down from his position.

Mayor Bill Blair responded, "Based on the information you have provided, the incident in question appears to be a private exchange between you and Mr. Mills, and not a matter in which the Town is involved."

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