Flint official resigns after calling residents the N-word


An official in Flint, Michigan, has resigned after an audio recording became public in which he allegedly called local residents the N-word and blamed them for not paying their water bills.

Phil Stair, longtime sales manager for the Genesee County Land Bank—Flint’s largest property owner—submitted his resignation to executive director Michele M. Wildman who announced Monday that it had been accepted.

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

The conversation in question occurred between Stair, who is white, and environmental activist and independent journalist Chelsea Lyons on May 26. The activist website Truth Against the Machine published the conversation Sunday.

The recording reportedly features Stair saying, “Flint has the same problems as Detroit: f***ing n*****s don’t pay their bills, believe me, I deal with them.”

“I don’t want to call them n*****s,” Stair said. “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***.”

According to Truth Against the Machine, Stair made the comments while driving to a restaurant with Lyons and another person.

On Monday, several demonstrators gathered during the County Board of Commissioners meeting to protest Stair’s remarks.

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