- The Washington Times - Monday, June 5, 2017

A Flint, Michigan, official has resigned after an audio recording surfaced of him allegedly calling local residents the N-word and blaming them for not paying their water bills.

Michele M. Wildman, executive director of the Genesee County Land Bank, said Monday that she accepted the resignation of longtime sales manager Phil Stair, MLive reported.

“I am deeply troubled by [the statements],” Ms. Wildman told the county Board of Commissioners during a meeting Monday, MLive reported. “The citizens of Flint deserve to have trust in their public officials.”

Mr. Stair, who is white, was recorded in a conversation with environmental activist and independent journalist Chelsea Lyons in Flint on May 26. The conversation was published Sunday by the activist website Truth Against The Machine.

“Flint has the same problems as Detroit: f–ing n–—s don’t pay their bills, believe me, I deal with them,” Mr. Stair reportedly says in the recording.

“I don’t want to call them n–—s,” he tried to clarify. “S–, I just went to Myrtle Beach, 24 guys, and I was the only white guy; I got friends, I mean, there’s trash and there’s people that do this s–.”

Mr. Stair made the comments while driving to a restaurant with Ms. Lyons and another individual, whom he’d met that night, Truth Against The Machine reported.

Ms. Lyons told MLive that she’s primarily concerned about the Land Bank’s role as Flint’s largest property owner.

“The Land Bank is taking up all of the properties in Flint. … They are pushing people out of neighborhood,” she said.

A handful of demonstrators gathered Monday during the County Board of Commissioners meeting to protest Mr. Stair’s comments, a local ABC affiliate reported.

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