Video: Official resigns after making racial comment about Flint - WNEM TV 5

Video: Official resigns after making racial comment about Flint residents

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Source: YouTube Source: YouTube

The sales manager of a local land bank has resigned after he was recorded making a racial comment about Flint residents amid the water crisis.

Michelle Wildman, executive director of the Genesee County Land Bank, said Monday, June 5 she has accepted the resignation of Phil Stair after a video was posted of the longtime employee allegedly using the n-word to describe Flint residents.

“Frankly I’m horrified by the language that was used and there’s just no place for that here,” said Wildman.

The video recording was posted on YouTube by Truth Against The Machine.

“Flint has the same problems as Detroit – f***ing ni***** don’t pay their bills. Believe me, I deal with them,” Stair allegedly said. 

(WARNING: Graphic language)

To watch the full 20 minute video, click here

In a resignation letter to Wildman, Stair said he felt he could not "carry out nor be effective in my position at the Land Bank with the social media recorded of my private opinion on the Flint Water crisis and the insensitive language used." 

To read his full letter, click here

Stair, who had been with the land bank for more than a decade, was one of five managers overseeing approximately 13,000 properties, including abandoned and foreclosed homes.

Activist Chelsea Lyons is a member of the organization, Truth Against the Machine, that released the recording.

“I never, going into that situation, expected to hear the things that he said, but within an hour that’s how it went,” Lyons said.

She said she met with Stair at a local restaurant the day the recording was made.

She said while the water crisis has dominated headlines in Flint, there are trust issues across many departments.

“This is a much bigger problem and while yes, the City of Flint needs brand new pipes everywhere; and that is obviously the absolute goal, we also have to address how we got here in the first place.”

For more on the community, and Lyons' reaction, click here

Wildman recognizes the organization now has to work to repair trust.

“Whatever steps that need to be taken through public dialogue and helping to rebuild that trust with the community, we’re absolutely committed to doing that,” Wildman told TV.

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