By Kate Selig
An outpouring of community support, an uncertain housing situation and a contested claim of discrimination have arisen following the death by suicide of Stanford computing support analyst Princeton Lacy Moore on Nov. 21.
Monik Gordon, his partner of 11 years, and his three children, aged 2, 3 and 10, are receiving money for living expenses through a GoFundMe run by Gordon’s cousin, as the University helps explore next steps for a family that has spent years in subsidized staff housing.
Lacy Moore, 35, died by suicide using a firearm in the garage adjacent to his family’s apartment at the Stanford West residential community for Stanford faculty and staff, according to Gordon. The County of Santa Clara Medical Examiner-Coroner’s Office confirmed to The Daily that the death was ruled a suicide.
Lacy Moore had been a Stanford employee since December 2013, according to University spokesperson E.J. Miranda.
In an interview with The Daily, Gordon said Lacy Moore had been complaining to her about a new supervisor in his department at Stanford. He had been coming home increasingly depressed since the supervisor’s arrival, she added.
According to Gordon, Lacy Moore told her that the new supervisor changed rules without explanation, moved her desk next to Lacy Moore’s and asked him to not listen to music while answering emails, despite other employees doing so. Miranda wrote in an email to The Daily that Lacy Moore had not reported any potential discrimination to the University.
The woman identified by Gordon as Lacy Moore’s supervisor did not respond to The Daily’s multiple requests for comment. In an email to The Daily, Stanford spokesperson Brad Hayward wrote that the University has “not found evidence of any discrimination by his supervisors based on the information available.”
Gordon also said that Lacy Moore told her he felt the supervisor’s actions had racial overtones but that he could not complain to human resources without risk of losing his job and no longer being able to provide for his family.
“He felt she was micromanaging him and wanted to watch him at work,” Gordon said. “He’d spend time in the bathroom once he’d come home, saying he needed to breathe before interacting with the kids so that he didn’t bring the same energy home.”
Gordon said that while she was not entirely sure what had happened at the Nov. 20 meeting, she had been told by Lacy Moore’s brother-in-law, who is also a Stanford employee, that Lacy Moore had been told at the meeting that his contract would not be renewed.
However, Hayward told The Daily that Lacy Moore was a continuing University employee and did not have a contract that could have been discontinued.
“We understand that the meeting that occurred the day before his death was one in which he received positive feedback,” Miranda wrote.
Future housing uncertain
Gordon said she has faced difficulties securing future housing in the wake of Lacy Moore’s death. Early December marked the family’s fifth year living at Stanford West.
According to Gordon, the Stanford West Leasing Office told her on Nov. 25 that she could not pay the rent as she was not on the lease — which was for Lacy Moore and could not be transferred to Gordon since she is not a Stanford employee. Gordon said she was told the following week that she would need to leave on Dec. 31, even if she did pay the rent.
After that, Gordon began her search for alternative housing options.
“I had a housing crisis and couldn’t even emotionally be there for myself and my children since I was going up and down the highway trying to find different types of housing,” Gordon said.
After Lacy Moore’s cousin Imani Lea Brown emailed Hayward to ask about the family’s housing status, Gordon said Hayward called her to set up a meeting with Stanford West.
On Dec. 11, Gordon was told by Alliance Residential Company, the corporation that manages Stanford West, that she and her children had been granted an extension to stay for another 60 days beyond the Dec. 31 deadline.
“Now I have extra time to pack,” Gordon said. “But we still don’t have anywhere to go.”
Hayward confirmed that Gordon would not lose her housing at the end of December, adding that the University’s property manager is exploring possible housing solutions with the family. He would not comment further, citing concern for the family’s privacy.
On Dec. 5, Brown launched a GoFundMe fundraiser on behalf of Lacy Moore’s family. The fundraiser has raised nearly $40,000 of its $100,000 goal, with more than 400 donors.
Gordon said she hopes to put money from the GoFundMe primarily toward housing.
“If we have to move out of state, because California is expensive, but we get enough to buy something where I never have to worry about housing again, I’d do that,” Gordon said. “If we have to move to Texas or Arizona, I will, because I never want to feel like this again.”
Hayward wrote that Lacy Moore’s department had “conveyed condolences to the family on the day after his death and subsequently shared information with all staff about Princeton’s memorial event as well as the memorial fund set up in his name”
In contrast, Gordon said the University has not offered her family condolences.
She said Lacy Moore’s death continues to take a toll on the family’s mental and emotional health: “I have a 10 year old, and every day he cries, and last night he said, ‘I can’t believe my dad is not here.’”
“Princeton was the best dad any child could ever want,” she added. “They [he and the children] did movie nights, they did monster jams; I can go on about how involved he was with the children. He’s just a person that is gone so soon, just a very good person. You don’t meet people like that — people are not made the way he was made.”
“And he was really goofy,” she said. “Don’t forget that.”
Author’s note: If you or someone you know is contemplating self harm or suicide, there are available resources both on and beyond campus that are reachable 24 hours a day, seven days a week:
National Suicide Prevention Hotline: +1 (800) 273-8255
Stanford Counseling and Psychological Services: +1 (650) 723-3785
Stanford Confidential Support Team: +1 (650) 725-9955
Contact Kate Selig at kselig ‘at’ stanford.edu.