A community member called for the Florence mayor to resign Monday after he said he witnessed Ron Hinkle acting inappropriately at a city festival over the weekend.
CJ Youngs stood before city council demanding that Hinkle step down and describing what he witnessed Saturday night at the Americana Festival.
"He was totally out of line," Youngs told TARGET 13 Investigates. "He started spewing racial and ethnic slurs on one of the security guards when they closed the gate on him. He was stumbling, slurring his words, was very, very belligerent."
Hinkle called the allegations "malicious and unfounded rumors" that had been circulating around the city. He refused to resign and read a prepared statement.
"At no time during the evening was I belligerent, outspoken or publicly intoxicated," Hinkle said, in part. "I have been a respected city council member since 2005, elected mayor in 2011. I take pride in my civic accomplishments."
Hinkle admitted to TARGET 13 that he had a "few beers" and that there was a "commotion" after his wife, Juli, tried to get back into the festival as it was ending.
But the couple who owns the security company that was working the festival tells a different story. They said both the Hinkles starting yelling and being aggressive with employees when they were denied re-entry.
"They were arguing with us, fighting with us. Saying they should be allowed back in because they were the mayor and the mayor's wife," said Troy Brassfield, who co-owns B&T Private Security.
His wife and co-owner Sarah Brassfield said Hinkle was especially abusive to one of her employees, calling her an array of offensive names.
"He called her the n-word," said Sarah. "She's not even a colored person, she's just dark skinned. So for that to be said to her, she took a lot of offense and it hurt her."
Hinkle told TARGET 13 he would apologize if there was any wrong doing, but stood firm that he did not use foul language.
"That kind of language isn't even in my vocabulary," said Hinkle. "I did not call anyone at the festival any name that was degrading, and I'll stand by that statement."
There was more trouble for the Hinkles later on Saturday night. Florence Police confirm that they were called to Lucky D's bar after an employee there reported problems with Juli Hinkle.
Mayor Hinkle said a bartender had asked his wife to leave, but she wanted her money back for a double shot drink she had just ordered. He confirmed there was an argument, but noted no arrests were made or citations written after police arrived.
Florence Police Chief Mike DeLaurentis said that case is closed, but said that there could be an investigation into what happened at the festival if witnesses make formal police reports.