Dad takes his own life after meeting with Stanford boss, family fears it will lose home

Princeton Lacy-Moore embraces his daughter Ma’at. Photo by Monik Gordon, his partner and the baby’s mother.
Princeton Lacy-Moore embraces his daughter Ma’at. Photo by Monik Gordon, his partner and the baby’s mother.

BY SARA TABIN
Daily Post Staff Writer

A woman who says her partner killed himself after conflicts with his boss at Stanford is now worried she and her three young children will be evicted from university housing.

Princeton Lacy Moore, 35, shot himself in the head on Nov. 21, according to a Santa Clara County Medical Examiner’s report. A day earlier, on Nov. 20, he had a meeting with his boss, according to his partner of 11 years, Monik Gordon.

Gordon said he died that morning in the garage adjacent to their home on Swain Way in the Stanford West housing development off Sand Hill Road. Gordon said she and the couple’s three children, ages 2, 3 and 10, were not home when he died.

Lacy Moore worked as a computing support analyst at Stanford since April 2014, according to his LinkedIn page. The couple had been living at Stanford West for four years.

Gordon said she and her uncle went to the Stanford West leasing office on Nov. 25 to discuss their situation. She said she offered to pay the next month’s rent early, but was told she couldn’t pay the rent because she’s not a Stanford employee and isn’t on the lease.

Gordon said she and her uncle asked Stanford if the university could connect them with any affordable housing programs or emergency shelter programs, but they haven’t heard anything back.

“I can’t grieve because I have to worry about this,” she said. “Holidays are coming and I have to worry about this.”

Gordon said her uncle called Stanford this week and was told that Gordon had to leave within 30 days. He was also told that her rent was late even though the university had told her she couldn’t pay the rent.

On Wednesday, Gordon said she put her rent in an envelope and stuffed it in the leasing office drop box after hours so that they couldn’t turn the money down and use it as an excuse to kick her out.

Mom puts name on homeless shelter waiting list

Yesterday she put her name down, along with the names of her kids, on a homeless shelter waiting list so that they will have a place to stay in case Stanford kicks them out.

Gordon said she doesn’t understand why no one at the university has reached out to even offer condolences for her partner’s death.

Stanford’s spokesman EJ Miranda said in an email yesterday that he didn’t have information about the death or Gordon’s housing situation.

Gordon said Lacy Moore, who grew up in East Palo Alto and attended Menlo-Atherton High School, was a good father and partner and the sort of thoughtful, goofy person that everyone wanted as a friend.

“He’s a good person and that makes everything so messed up,” she said.

But over the past two months, she saw his lighthearted nature dwindle, she said.

Gordon doesn’t know why her partner took his life but she thinks something was wrong at work.

He felt harassed at work

She said he had been complaining to her about a new supervisor who had been harassing him for the past several months and saying he was doing things wrong even though he was working the same way he had for years before. He told Gordon he thought the woman wanted to get rid of him and was targeting him because of his race.

Gordon, who stays home to care for their children, said she told him to just “play the game” and keep trying at work.

Gordon said Lacy Moore had a meeting with Stanford on Nov. 20, the day before he killed himself. He didn’t tell her what was said in that meeting, and the university won’t fill her in on what happened.

A memorial page has been set up for Lacy Moore as well as a GoFundMe account for his family. It has only raised $200 as of Thursday night.

The page is filled with pictures of Lacy Moore and his children. His cousin, Imani Lea Brown, said in a note on the page that he was a chef, a caretaker and a dad who coached and read stories to his children.

The SCC Medical Examiner’s officer spelled his name as “Lacey-Moore,” and the Facebook and GoFundMe pages refer to him by “Moore.” Gordon said his last name was “Lacy Moore.”

Lacy Moore is survived by Gordon, their children — Jeovan, Ma’at and Ptah, sister Amenta Winters and mother Zuri Moore. A celebration of his life will be held Dec. 21 at 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. at the Wo’se Community Church at 8924 Holly St. in Oakland. Attendees are asked to bring a dish, dessert or drinks.

Help for those in a crisis

There are many resources available to anyone in crisis, including the National Suicide Hotline at (800) 784-2433, the Santa Clara County Suicide and Crisis Hotline at (855) 278-4204 and the Crisis Text Line (text HOME to 741741). All three services are free, confidential and available 24/7.

42 Comments

  1. Princeton was brilliant. He spoke of astrology, numerology, all things ancient. He was a GATE student (Gifted and Talented Education) teaching his son who also placed in advanced math and science. Princeton was kind, an empath, who always wanted to help. You can always count on him. He was a caretaker. He wasn’t the type to hold grudges or seek trouble. He was a problem-solver. We’re at a loss for words that he was driven to this act. We’re going to miss him so much! He was truly a light!

  2. I was harassed by my previous supervisor it was terrible. Even took a leave because of it. I went to the division manager on multiple occasions and finally to HR. Nothing seem to be done or has been done. My FMLA was interfered with, which is against the law. I ended up leaving. It was a very toxic environment.

    • Princeton’s supervisor was probably trying to get rid of him so they could hire a friend. They either re-write the job description or set you up for failure. I seen this happen at Stanford several times.

  3. I have came across several managers at Stanford that treat you different because the color of your skin.It’s really bad how they get away with anything and hire who they want not because your qualified, but because the ppl in the department thought you were cute.

  4. This is so very sad and tragic. My heart goes out to his family. This makes me wonder how complaints from staff are handled, specifically in Medicine. I hope the University looks into this. I too, was harassed by my previous supervisor. I went to the division manager on multiple occasions and then to HR. I had to take leave because of the stress. My FMLA was interfered with. All this information was given to HR. I was told an investigation would happen, and I wouldn’t be told the outcome. I ended up leaving because it didn’t seem like nothing would be done even though many people had complained and left the division. Two African American girls were fired and have since been hired in other departments (which has to make you wonder), and another was harassed until she left. All this was reported to HR. Both the supervisor and manager are still with the division, and it doesn’t appear that NOTHING was done despite breaking the LAW and interfering with FMLA requests. I believe he too, worked under Medicine. Again, I hope the University looks into this. This University overall is a great place to work. However, there are always a few bad seeds.

  5. I first met Princeton at Center for a New Generation, a Summer Program for kids in East Palo Alto and East Menlo Park. We clicked because we were both a little different. I remember sitting by myself, and he approached me. We made up our own games to play, other kids thought we were wierd, but we didn’t care. I have learned so much from him, childhood to adulthood. I will forever carry those lessons, his heart, his genuine spirit.

  6. I worked for one month in the Stanford School of Medicine administration offices, and it was without question the worst month of my life. My manager was a passive-aggressive sociopath. He knew how to play up to his managers who thought all was well. But he was a monster to the people below him. I’m a white female so it may not be based on ethnicity. It might simply be the very toxic environment present inside some (not all) parts of Stanford. The story ended, btw, with me being fired. About 2 days before I was planning to give notice.

    • Quite a few companies in Bay Area have toxic environment, managers play up to their management, newly appointed executives kick out the old team not because of performance but to bring in their own ppl, discrimination against color, age, sex, background, religion, you name it. You would’ve thought that Bay Area is full of liberal and most inclusive in US, turns out not at all.

  7. My husband and I, plus several of our close friends, worked with Princeton at the job he had just prior to working at Stanford. When we read the paper this morning, our hearts collectively broke. Princeton was funny, caring, insightful, and above all, a family man. He talked endlessly about his children and his partner, and we even once attended a birthday party for his son- he was so proud to throw it. It was a giant party that he rented a park for…. he got a bouncy house, barbecued, and had a reptile guy there to delight the young kids with his giant snakes, ect. This is the kind of man I knew him to be- generous to a fault and so, so in love with his children. The kind of man who always had a wise or kind word for someone else, and who, when you spoke, really listened. Monik, if you’re reading this, you probably wouldn’t even remember meeting me, but please know that your pain is shared by so many more people than you know. Your partner was amazing, and the changs family is grieving tonight. Our hearts are with you. Love from Kaity, Carlos, Conner, Emily, and so many more people who’s named I do not have permission to list (but have texted me upset just the same).

  8. I am so very sorry. His death is a tragedy on so many levels. Love and blessings to his partner, his family, his friends, and to those who loved him.

  9. Saddens me to see this. Unfortunately my fiance also worked at Stanford a couple years back and would also tell me about his experiences working there. Especially with his supervisor targeting him, bullying and harrassing him. He would go seek for help, but not much was done besides “talking” it out in front of their boss. Now he is mentally disabled due to all the stress he went through there. I would definitely investigate what exactly happen in that meeting. My Prayers to you and your family.

  10. I hope Palo Alto Police don’t let this case drop. If a manager said something to an employee that caused him to kill himself, the police should put a detective on it. I know Stanford is powerful and can squash an investigation, but police are supposed to be brave. Investigate this! It’s a tragedy that didn’t need to happen.

  11. Tragic, but also weak, selfish, and irresponsible. So he was unhappy, feelings were hurt? Just imagine how the three young children he abandoned will feel.

    • What is weak, selfish, and irresponsible is to leave a comment like this, anonymously, about a person who cannot see it, but whose grieving family, friends, partner, and children might. Please think before you post, and have some compassion.

      • Thank you for correcting him or her with such tact. I would’ve went t the left. Your energy lives on through all the lives you have touched.

    • Depression is nothing to be taken lightly. It’s something an individual needs medical attention for you insensitive POS. It is almost impossible to live in the Bay area right now without and income higher than 1,000,000 so for him to have a set up like he did was lucky and to have that being jeopardize was I’m sure the worst and most devastating feeling a father could feel. He probably felt they would do and get more help from the system without him, especially when you feel like you have nothing to fall back on. Jobs like that especially in that area are very hard to come by. So I’d suggest you think about what you just said. Unless you’ve been in this position you can’t you have nothing to say

  12. I’d like to say that this such a tragic event, and from what I read in the article itself and the comments left behind, there seems to be an assumption that this loving father, committed suicide because of something that happened at work. This seems unlikely and an overly simplified reaction to a serious disease, depression.

    He may have been fighting these feelings for years and was good at hiding what he might have been feeling. But I think it’s a huge disservice to him to think he did this because he felt harassed at work.

    I worked in many different areas at Stanford and I think it can be a toxic environment, especially when it comes to old timers who have been there for years and feel threatened by new blood they feel are threatening to them. But this is how it is working for any university.

    I have suffered from depression all my life and it is at times an overwhelming disease. It’s too late for Princeton, tragically, but maybe not for others out there you may know. Don’t be afraid to ask someone who seems different emotionally from what your used to, pursue what’s wrong and don’t give up.

    I give my love and hope to those left behind in this most sad event.

  13. To Anonymous, in the first post on this article:
    It’s “week, selfish, and irresponsible” to post a comment like that on a story like this, though I’m guessing you know that, and it’s why you did it anonymously. People don’t kill themselves because their feelings are hurt, they kill themselves because they are in real and unsurvivable pain. His children are likely heartbroken, but I hope they never read this or feel about their father the way you have portrayed him. Mental health is a real thing, and it can be taken from you through bullying, whether you are a child, a teenager, or a full blown adult. None of us are immune, and when it is the systematic bullying that comes from a supervisor who is trying to get rid of you, and your whole livelihood and that of your family, hangs in the balance, in a dark moment suicide might seem like an option. An option I hope nobody chooses, but an option nonetheless. Please be more careful with your comments on a story like this and more compassionate in your view of the world. I’m guessing you wouldn’t want to be judged by an action that you took in your darkest moment…or even by how you sound in this post.

  14. This doesn’t seem right. After reading this and all the comments it just doesn’t seem like something this man would do. Leave his family like that? No way. No one was there when it happened so until there’s a full investigation into all parties involved here I’d hold off on believing this was suicide.

  15. How can Stanford be so heartless to make this family move right away? With pockets so deep, it seems that Stanford could allow the wife a grace period, to mourn and to give time to find another place for her and the kids to live. She even offered to pay rent and Stanford said, “No”. I’m really having a hard time understanding why and how Stanford can be so heartless. What a disappointment.

  16. This makes me wonder how HR over in Medicine handles complaints. I worked in Medicine for over 10 years before leaving to another school. I too was harassed by my supervisor who was new to the division. I went to the division manager on multiple occasions to report incidents and finally HR. I had FMLA interference. It was just a really toxic environment. All this information was reported to HR not only by me. Two black girls were fired but were able
    to get jobs in different parts of the University (that has to make one wonder). I was told that there would be an investigation but I would not be told the outcome. FMLA interference is a big no no yet I don’t believe nothing was done about it. Both managers are still with the division. I decided it was best for me to leave. I am now in another school and the environment is much better. I have been at the University as a whole
    for over 15 years and I can tell you that it’s a great place to work. Unfortunately there are a few bad seeds. Especially in Medicine where I believe he worked. I hope the University looks into this serious matter.

  17. Let’s all come together and allow the facts to be properly presented. It breaks my heart that a family is without their father and husband. Mental illness is by far hard to understand and not knowing all of the stressors this young father was going through is going to be an everlasting question. May his family find comfort that there are MANY of us at Stanford that hold them in our prayers. Stanford is a great place to work and an amazing community. I ask that we not be so quick to generalize the university because it does not represent the entire institution. Thank you.

      • Stanford is a classist, racist ivory tower. Your personal experiences with it do not erase the bigotry and discrimination that happens at your elitist campus every second of every day

    • Student suicide. Employee suicide. Admission bribery. There is foul rot Under the veneer this American top institution. Wait for a few years, you’ll hear wide spread scandal about principal investigators misusing government grants.

  18. A friend of mine sued Stanford for this very thing. SHE WON. Her lawyer told her Stanford is sued all the time and they would rather pay than change.
    I left because The Doctor I worked for wS being pressured by Finance. They wanted hus research money in THEIR coffers! When I started working from him, I became a target of thus ignorant bully. I left.
    Prinston’s life was not worth Stanford. Hopefully this will rip the cover off this mess. They need to educate managment or fire them. They need to clean house NOW!

  19. I feel like Santa Clara County should automatically give her a Housing Voucher because of her situation. She shouldn’t have to be struggling with her children in finding housing. I send her my deepest condolences and prayers.

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  21. That’s the way Stanford works believe it or not. Stanford University is one of the most prestigious universities in the world due to the employees it has, Stanford has so many high class trophies and awards in all departments of the university but the university’s executive’s from the universitys president to the bord of trustees and all the higher ups don’t understand that they have a high ranking position due to the lower class employees that work hard for the university and make the university look so prestigious. all these high ranking executives have gained these positions becouse of the lower class employees that work hard to make them and the university look good but yet Stanford University forgets to value the lower class employees that make Stanford and the executive board look good

  22. Work stress and work place bullying can be very damaging to mental health. I wouldn’t necessarily assume it’s mental illness. Unfortunately, it is a toxic environment there.

  23. I have a strong feeling there’s more to this story than what’s been reported in this article, or commented on. So far we don’t have Stanford’s side for example, which in my experience as an employee there for 25 year has usually been very positive and helpful in tragic cases like this.

  24. This needs to be ADDRESSED I had the same problem they hire people who is very INCOMPETENT for these jobs and don’t know what their doing and TREAT people INHUMANE and really shouldn’t hold these POSITIONS and upper management just turn the other way and SUPPORT these managers who are very NASTY and RUDE and they know nothing will happen to them this is very SAD …

  25. I am sorry that Gordon is going through housing situation while grieving and taking care of her kids. I asked a friend for help and received a list of organizations who could potentially help her for housing. Please email me so I can send you the list.

  26. I’m so sorry about the death of this young father. Like many other commenters, I was harassed by a new supervisor and targeted for termination. I contacted HR. No concrete response. Of course I became the problem because my anxiety skyrocketed. Critiques of my performance were laughable and poorly written with several typos. Due to the ongoing harassment and stress from these baseless and outright false statements about my performance , I took a month of mental health leave. The harassment has recently stopped after 3 years. Did my efforts with HR have an impact? Or the over $10k in therapy that my family and I have shelled out to deal the ongoing stress and threat to our family well being. I’m a white 50+ woman and the harassers were white. I came out of this still in my job and newly resilient to be able to endure this treatment but it’s cost me and my family a lot. Stanford needs to get a heart and support employees

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